By Dave Fidlin
Rochester officials late last year adopted a new logo for the village.
Decision-makers within the community are now working a consulting firm on the next step, which is installing signs sporting the new image in different areas of the municipality.
Village staffers had surveyed residents on a preferred signage package, based on a series of renderings from KMA Design, a consulting firm the village agreed to contract with last August to develop new imagery depicting Rochester’s past, present and future.
Survey respondents were asked to rank five different sign options and color palates. The responses ranged from an average rating of 3.66 to 1.70.
After deliberating at a meeting Jan. 22, the Village Board voted in favor of the package that garnered the 3.66 rating. It includes a dark-colored palate with the community name emphasized in bold lettering alongside a wheat symbol.
The approved package could include the installation of signage in gateway areas of the community, near municipal borders. Additionally, signage could be installed to accentuate points of interest within Rochester, including the downtown, village hall and areas for parking.
Village Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Erin Dix, who has been overseeing the rebranding effort within village hall, said a total of 142 responses came in from residents.
In addition to ranking the choices, residents were given the opportunity to provide comments in the anonymous survey. Dix included the comments in the Village Board packet.
One respondent bemoaned the darker-colored schemes, which were in many of the choices presented in the survey.
“I feel like Rochester is a bright and enjoyable village, and the black brings it down,” the respondent wrote of the proposals.
Another respondent wrote, “Love that Rochester is finally getting the signage it deserves! Thank you!”
During deliberations, a majority of the board members said they were interested in moving forward with a design palate that a majority of the respondents chose, expressing a sentiment they were reflecting the wishes of their constituency.
A similar course of action was taken when the board opted to adopt a logo reflecting the wheat symbol as a nod to Rochester’s agricultural roots. Several other images were included, including Rochester’s legacy of having a long-tenured Memorial Day parade and the community’s proximity to the Fox River.
“Maybe we ought to listen to them again on this,” Trustee Gary Beck Sr. said of the thinking behind reflecting the wishes of residents.
The board allocated funds dolled out to the community from the American Rescue Plan Act to cover the cost of the design work.
The plan in motion is to install the new signage as funds allow, since municipal funds could be necessary to move the project forward at the actual construction and installation phase.
Trustee Chris Johnson, echoing previous comments, said he was opposed to the entire project.
“I think it’s a waste of our taxpayers’ money,” Johnson said.