EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Located on the corner of 10th Avenue and 10th Street in Menominee, the large Menominee Heritage Museum’s large “closed” sign was discussed heavily Tuesday at the Menominee County Board of Commissioners meeting. County Administrator Jason Carviou said representatives from the Menominee Downtown Business Association said the sign contradicts the open atmosphere the association envisions for the City of Menominee.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Located on the corner of 10th Avenue and 10th Street in Menominee, the large Menominee Heritage Museum’s large “closed” sign was discussed heavily Tuesday at the Menominee County Board of Commissioners meeting. County Administrator Jason Carviou said representatives from the Menominee Downtown Business Association said the sign contradicts the open atmosphere the association envisions for the City of Menominee.

MENOMINEE — At the request of the Menominee Downtown Business Association (MDBA), Menominee County Board of Commissioners discussed the signage advertising the Menominee Heritage Museum, Tuesday. 

The discussion also branched out to encompass a sign for the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department, as well as other promotional signage that is displayed on the corner of 10th Street and 10th Avenue in Menominee.

Menominee County Administrator Jason Carviou explained that someone from the MDBA approached him about the Menominee Heritage Museum, which is currently displaying a large “closed” sign. He said the organization is currently attempting to revamp downtown Menominee to have an “open atmosphere.”

Carviou said the large “closed” sign on the corner of 10th Street and 10th Avenue goes against that aesthetic.

“They don’t like the large closed sign on it,” he said. “They’re trying to create an atmosphere that downtown’s open and I know that it’s a bit of stretch for them to say the sign shows that downtown is closed.”

He said Menominee County doesn’t technically have to do anything about that sign but it can if the board of commissioners wants to.

The corner itself is also the location of the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office sign and various signs posted by the community to promote events throughout the year. Carviou said many people have said this corner is “cluttered” with its signage and a bigger conversation of what signs, if any, should be allowed at that location may be needed.

He suggested relocating the two main signs to be in front of their respective buildings.

The Menominee Heritage Museum is closed for the 2020 season because of COVID-19, so taking the sign down would not have an impact this year.

However, Commissioner Larry Schei said he did not agree with taking either sign down without talking to the county historical society and the sheriff.

“Don’t we give money to the museum? Isn’t that one of our organizations? Why should we take the sign down if we are continuing to support and promote them?” Schei said. “And I don’t care what anyone thinks, it’s always nice for people to know where the sheriff’s department and police departments are.”

Commissioner Steve Gromala said a simple solution would to simply take the closed sign off from the corner and place it at the sign at the museum itself. He added that if someone followed the main sign to the museum and saw that it was closed, they would have only driven a block out of their way.

Commissioner Larry Phelps said he would like to see the corner cleaned up altogether.

“As far as the sheriff’s sign, it can sit on 10th Avenue in front of the jail. As far as the historical museum, if they want to move the sign to 9th Avenue, that would be the way to go because that’s where it is,” he said. “Here’s the point, that corner to me is a cluttered mess, constantly. The property belongs to the county and there’s no control over the situation. You see banners up there two, three months prior to an event that will take place. To me, I’m all for clearing that corner completely out.”

No decision was made Tuesday on what to do, if anything, about the Menominee Hertiage Museum’s sign or the other signage displayed at the corner of 10th Street and 10th Avenue.

Carviou said he would contact the county historical society, as well as Sheriff Kenny Marks, to inquire about their opinions and preferences to the signage. He also said he would ask a representative from the MDBA to reach out to the commissioners to explain future plans they have and their reasoning behind their request.