After hearing some grumblings from people who work or live along M Street, the Merced Sunrise Rotary has changed its initial plans for the thoroughfare in favor of an honorary Veterans Boulevard moniker.
The club announced an effort earlier this year to change the name of M Street permanently to Veterans Boulevard but decided recently to make it an honorary name to ease residents’ minds, according to Kim Espinosa, Merced’s planning manager.
The honorary name would be hung alongside the M Street signs and would not change anyone’s address, Espinosa said.
“No one who lives on M Street needs to change their address, their stationery, their business cards, their anything,” she said.
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There are about 460 addresses on M Street, according to city staffers. That includes homes toward the southern end of the street, as well as public buildings such as the Merced County Administration Building and Merced College.
The city has 22 traffic signal signs on M, as well as 57 standard street signs and two other large signs, Espinosa said. To add a Veterans Boulevard sign to each of those is estimated to cost close to $62,000, which the club has pledged to raise.
No one who lives on M Street needs to change their address, their stationery, their business cards, their anything.
Kim Espinosa, Merced’s planning manager
Turlock carried out a similar plan, Merced city staffers said, in 2007 when California State University, Stanislaus, added University Way signs to the poles along Monte Vista Avenue.
Ideally, the club wants to be able to change at least one sign and hold a dedication ceremony on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, according to club member Rich Miller.
The club wants the honorary signs to be a “permanent and prominent” nod to veterans and their families, Miller said, who have sacrificed for the country.
Those buzzwords are important because few know about other landmarks that honor veterans, Miller said, such as the bridge on M Street over Bear Creek, which is called the Merced Veterans Memorial Bridge. He also noted that the park most people call “Courthouse Park” is officially Veterans Memorial Park.
$62,000Estimated cost to add the honorary signs
Miller said the club has some money from the Field of Honor it does every year at Merced College to put toward the signs.
“We’re not sure exactly how much, but we can dedicate some funds to this particular project,” he said.
The club intends to find the rest of the money through grants, state funding, fundraisers or other efforts, Miller said, and does not intend to ask the city for tax dollars.
City staffers said the club could start with prominent signs and add others in future years.
The Merced City Council gave city staffers direction Tuesday to set a public hearing and discuss the honorary signs at a future meeting. Staffers said that would likely be Aug. 15.