New sign ‘an appetizer of things to come’

MILFORD — A new sign now greets passersby as they drive into the city of Milford thanks to the efforts of community members.

“Shirley Renzi called me and said, Jo, I’m so sick of seeing that sign. I’m willing to pay for it. What do I need to do,” Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford Executive Director Jo Schmeiser said.

That phone call helped spur some action in getting an old and “dilapidated” sign out of sight.

Ms. Schmeiser said a replacement sign for the older one at the intersection of Rt. 1 and Rt. 113 had been in the works for years but the project “must have been stuck on a desk somewhere because nothing was happening.”

Until Ms. Remzi made her phone call that is.

Milford Church of God Pastor Andy Stevens, now also the chair of the Economic Development Committee, said he made a phone call to Harvey Kenton who helped nudge the process along.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford Economic Development Commission members and Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe unveiled a new Welcome to Milford sign July 27 on social media. It was installed July 27 by the city of Milford. The sign is located where Route 113 South and Route 1 South split in Milford. Pictured in the front row: Commission Member Angela Dorey and resident Shirley Renzi. Pictured in the back row: Commission Members Tony Favata, Darel LaPrade, Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe, Kelly Sylvester, Ed Simon, Pastor Andy Stevens and Milford School District Superintendent Kevin Dickerson. Special to The Chronicle

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford Economic Development Commission members and Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe unveiled a new Welcome to Milford sign July 27 on social media. It was installed July 27 by the city of Milford. The sign is located where Route 113 South and Route 1 South split in Milford. Pictured in the front row: Commission Member Angela Dorey and resident Shirley Renzi. Pictured in the back row: Commission Members Tony Favata, Darel LaPrade, Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe, Kelly Sylvester, Ed Simon, Pastor Andy Stevens and Milford School District Superintendent Kevin Dickerson. Special to The Chronicle

“I know that he cares about our community a great deal,” Pastor Stevens said of Mr. Kenton.

The old sign has been in place for more than 25 years, he added, thanks to an Eagle Scout award project.

“It’s a win for Milford. It’s a gateway entrance into our community, one of the first impressions people have of the community of Milford,” he said of the sign’s location.

“Maybe people are coming to Milford to shop or maybe a business person is looking to open a new franchise. There certainly are people in our community that really wanted to see our old dilapidated sign go. And we want them to know the opinions of our community matter.”

The sign, fabricated by Xtreme Graphics in Milford, is designed with emergencies in mind as there are two parts to the sign (top and bottom) that can each break away from the sign posts individually.

City of Milford street crews installed the sign and painted it.

As an added bonus to the town, City Manager Eric Norenberg said Ms. Renzi did, indeed, help fund the new sign along with Jim Burke of Xtreme Graphix.

“This sign is the result of years of advocacy by Downtown Milford, Inc. members, the DMI Design Committee and the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Milford Economic Development Commission,” Mr. Norenberg said.

“The city is grateful for the support of Shirley Renzi and Xtreme Graphix.  Our community is fortunate to have businesspersons like Shirley and Jim who support initiatives like this, that help make Milford even better.”

For those involved in organizing the creation and installation of the new sign, it’s not just about a sign.

Pastor Stevens said, “The sign is just an appetizer of things to come. We are poised for more greatness.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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