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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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12/21/2013 2:53:00 PM
Cottonwood reaches agreement on historic sign
VVN file photo by Jon Pelletier
The historic sign in the middle of Old Town Cottonwood once advertised Shep's Liquor. Now it stands over a law office.
VVN file photo by Jon Pelletier
The historic sign in the middle of Old Town Cottonwood once advertised Shep's Liquor. Now it stands over a law office.

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD -- Everyone has seen the "Welcome to Old Town" sign, mounted over the Ledbetter Law Office on Main St.

It was historically built to advertise the former "Shep's Liquor" store that once occupied a niche in the former motor court. Jim Ledbetter agreed to the joint use of the sign rather than tearing it down. He had a verbal agreement with the city to maintain and repair the sign jointly when needed, when he and the city originally agreed to refurbish the towering sign to highlight Old Town while also identifying the law office. Now a formal agreement will assure ongoing maintenance.

Old timers remember that the sign was once an important landmark they could identify when coming over Mingus Mountain.

Today, says Randy Garrison, the sign is shown over and over again in all publicity about the contemporary Old Town.

Cottonwood City Attorney Steve Horton explained that the agreement requires the city to cover up to $1,000 per year of any maintenance expenses, when needed.

But not all council members agree that the city should make such an agreement with a private business.

Tim Elinski, for one, believes the city could pass the responsibility to the Old Town Association while raising its compensation to accommodate the additional expense.

Garrison believes the sign maintenance should by covered by the city bed tax passes through to support the Chamber of Commerce tourism outreach, rather than the Old Town Association.

Mayor Diane Joens said she "was comfortable" with the agreement.

The final council vote was unanimous to approve the agreement.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Article comment by: Noss Taligia

Anyone here remember the 47-foot-high animated neon 'Vegas Vic' sign in front of the Pioneer Club at First and Fremont streets in 1960s Las Vegas, with his waving arm and dangling cigarette? Every 15 minutes he spoke: "Howdy Pardner!"

Old Town needs a neon sign like that, but with the cowboy holding a stemmed wine glass. A bottle appears and fills the glass. The cowboy then says "bottoms up!" as he lifts the glass to his lips and empties it. As he lowers the glass, he says "Ahhhh!"

The tourists would love it, and it would really get them into a consumptive mood!


Posted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Article comment by: Re: Tom Babbitt

That's a GREAT idea Tom! I can see it now......Big.......red neon.....

Posted: Monday, December 23, 2013
Article comment by: Gilbert Chesterton

All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it.

Posted: Saturday, December 21, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

How about changing it into a giant neon wine bottle.



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