The town of Arbor Vitae is the proud new owner of about 20,000 square feet of property along U.S. Highway 51.
Model homes for Tall Timber Builders had once been on the small parcel.
Dale Opperman, River Valley Bank’s senior vice president for retail banking, said the land has been owned by the bank for the last few years.
“It’s kind’ve a special use property and we started talking about it,” he said. “We thought maybe we’d be better off just donating it to the town if they could use it.”
Opperman said he made a call to the town office and spoke to town clerk Mary Reuland, who told him the town had been looking for property.
“It just made sense for us to do that,” he said. “It worked out great for us and I think it worked out great for them.”
Arbor Vitae town chairman Frank Bauers said for the last two years, the town had been looking for a location to install a digital message board to promote area events and activities.
He said the sign would be similar to the sign Minocqua has on the south side of town near the ballpark on Hwy. 51.
“We’re trying to purchase this 1.3 acres next to the town office from the state,” he said. “That’s pretty close to being a done deal.”
Despite the town’s efforts on that property, which is located along State Highway 70 East, it obviously wouldn’t get a sign for the town on Hwy. 51.
“Fifty-one will be great exposure for us,” he said. “We can control it with a telephone line from there or a laptop with wireless Internet to program the sign.”
Bauers reiterated the sign wouldn’t be used to advertise events just in Arbor Vitae but for events for the surrounding area as well.
“It’s a great location,” he said.
The bank had been paying $400 a year in taxes on the property.
Bauers said the town will be approaching the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce for a contribution toward the sign. He estimated the sign’s cost to be in the neighborhood of $25,000.
Reuland said as far as a possible location for the sign, the chamber had done a traffic count at a different site closer to the Hwy. 51 and Hwy. 70 East intersection.
Brian Jopek may be reached at email@example.com.