After weeks of discussions between government officials and local business leaders, a new sign ordinance is now in place in Thomson.
Mayor Kenneth Usry and Administrator Don Powers met with several business owners and members of the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce on at least two occasions to iron out some details regarding the new sign ordinance before its official adoption.
The second reading of that ordinance was unanimously approved by city council members during last Thursday night's monthly council meeting. Those favoring the new sign ordinance included the Rev. John Smalley, Bud Lunceford, Jaye Jones and Bernice Brown. Mayor Pro Tem Alton Belton was absent.
Several amendments also were approved regarding the new sign ordinance.
In recent weeks, some local businessmen and women felt the new sign ordinance needed to be toned down some. So, city officials met with those business persons and resolved most of the issues before moving ahead with the passage of the sign ordinance that includes several changes from its original version.
One of the biggest amendments includes a clarification of a clause which allows existing non-conforming signs, excluding portable signs, to remain intact during the occupancy of the building's current tenant. If that tenant were to close or cease operations of the business then the non-conforming signs must be removed before a new tenant can start up a new business in that particular location.
City officials said all non-conforming signs must be removed within 90 days of last April 9.
Mayor Usry said he believes the new sign ordinance is a "fair one" for everybody and would help make the City of Thomson look better in the future.