Last week Burnsville’s City Council met at a worksession (video) to discuss several options for updating the signs leading into the city at MN-13, 35W, 35E and CR-42. As part of this discussion, options for a new logo to update the one in use since 1976 were also considered. With City Staff cognizant of the poor financial situation the city is in requiring several tax increases over the last few years to help fund the on-going burden that the Burnsville Performing Art Center has placed on residents, plans are in place to roll out these changes over a number of years in the hopes that in small increments few will notice the large expenditure for something that is, in the eyes of many taxpayers, an unnecessary nice-to-have.
From the worksession background documentation:
Because of a number of upcoming large projects (such as the proposed entrance monument project and needed replacement of aging park signs) that will literally “set the logo in stone” over the next few years, staff proposes that if Council ever were to consider an update or modernization of the City logo – now is the time to consider.
The 2012 Budget approval included annual dedicated funding ($25k/yr) in the Street Revolving Fund for placement of entrance monuments along TH 13, 35W, 35E and CR 42. The monuments will be installed over a period of years with the initial installations completed in conjunction with road projects. As part of the planning for those installations the City has utilized the 2012 funding for initial monument design and logo review. Working with Kimley-Horn, three preliminary monument designs and an initial location at the eastern entrance to the City along TH 13 has been developed for Council consideration. In order to construct the monuments without additional funding, they will be installed every other year allowing for up to $50k in funding for each location.
With so many choice quotes uttered by several of the current Burnsville City Councilmembers during tax levy time centering around a theme of needing to raise taxes because there just isn’t anything else to cut, spending $150,000 + logo + implementation of the new brand seems like the absolute PERFECT thing to keep out of the budget when there just isn’t anything else left to cut.
Sure, the current City of Burnsville logo is atrocious, most logos regardless of sector are. While logos and branding may be of the utmost importance in the private sector where advertising and image mean the difference between more income or not, in the public sector where they get to produce income out of thin air for projects which may not at all benefit the “shareholders”, it’s just not necessary.
While the signs at the entrance to the city are a monumentally ridiculous way to spend taxpayer dollars, the three potential logos put forth by a local designer to go on these signs as well as just about every other Burnsville item in circulation are laughable to say the least:
While the Council wasn’t keen on any of these three, instead of simply scrapping the idea entirely even though two of the five noted that none of them were “municipal” enough, they asked the designer to go back and create a design incorporating the best from the first and third.
While the City Staff may have a great point about “now or never”, with an on-going economic crisis and ever-increasing taxes within the City of Burnsville because the Council just cannot seem to make anymore cuts, this appears to be a “never” situation. Being that no final decisions have been made, perhaps it’s time for Burnsville residents to get involved and tell their representatives that there is absolutely no reason that a logo which has been in existence since 1976 needs to be revamped in 2012 so that they can put it on a bunch of very expensive signs no one at all will pay attention to when they drive into town.
Do you ever pay attention to signs of other Metro cities as you drive by? Do you think that the Burnsville City Council should approve an expenditure in excess of $150,000 to update these signs? What about the three logo designs presented at the most recent worksession? Did you like any of them? Do you think a combination of the first and third designs will come together to create a worthwhile replacement for the current logo? Do you think that municipalities should be in the business of worrying about their brand when they’re not competing to do anything? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.