Where did 'Welcome to Kenai' sign go?

The empty spot where the Welcome to Kenai sign used to rest (left), and a photo of what it once looked like (right). Photo courtesy Stefanie Lawhorn.
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KENAI, Alaska (KTUU) - Long-time residents and visitors of the Kenai Peninsula know the sign that usually sits above a rock outcropping, welcoming drivers into the borough. Last month, some noticed it had gone missing.

"What happened to our beautiful Penninsula sign?" asked Stefanie Lawson on social media. "I drove by it a couple days ago on the 26th and it was gone, only the rock remaining."

According to borough officials, there's no need to worry-- the sign wasn't stolen. Instead, they said Thursday that it had been reported doing some "heavy leaning" last month.

John Quick, chief of staff for the Kenai Peninsula Borough, said that about two weeks ago, a maintenance crew went to check it out, and found its condition to be worse than they thought.

"The sign was so rotted out, that they couldn't work on it at the site," Quick said. "So instead, they brought it back here, where we now have to figure out how we're going to deal with it."

The options, Quick said, are whether to repair it, replace it, or some combination of the two.

"We're still in the process of determining how it will be restored or replaced with a new sign," Quick said. "But either way it will look and feel like the old sign."

The borough doesn't have a good time frame for when the sign will be back up, as maintenance crews were already busy working on other projects in the borough. But when it is fixed, Quick says at least one thing will be changed.

"We're definitely going to put it more hunkered into the ground, into the rock, so it doesn't get so hammered by wind," Quick said. "When they went to check out the leaning problem, it probably could have been kicked right over."

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