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Newport considers new lighted-up street signs: bright blue, gold and a sail

The Newport Beach City Council is expected to discuss on Tuesday placing redesigned illuminated street name signs at various intersections throughout the city.

The city's current signs have a green background with white lettering, which is still used by Caltrans and several cities. Over the years, many surrounding cities have changed their illuminated signs to include different background colors as well as specific features such as the city's name or logo, according to a staff report.

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The proposed sign has a bright blue background — the same color currently used on all corner post street signs in residential areas — as well as white lettering, a gold and black border and a gold sailboat on the left of the sign.

"Staff believes the best option is a design incorporating the golden-yellow sail found on the city entry monument signs," the staff report states. "This sail symbol is easy to recognize and adds a simple recognition icon in identifying Newport Beach."

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The illuminated signs, mounted at 122 signalized intersections in the city, are roughly 6- to 8-feet in length and 16 inches in height.

The City Council first discussed replacing the street signs during a study session in March where staff presented various design options to the council. Alternative options for the signs keep the lettering white and the blue background, but include either the city seal or the gold sailboat with the city name around it.

If approved by the council, the signs would be changed out over the next several years as part of routine traffic signal maintenance, the staff report states. City staff estimates that about 20 intersections, along East Coast Highway from Jamboree through Newport Coast, could be switched out in the next year.

The staff report does not list a specific price for the switch out, but said it would be a "low cost."

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City budget

The City Council is also expected to vote on the 2015-16 fiscal year budget Tuesday night.

The council took its first look at the $282.4 million spending plan during a study session earlier this month. The budget represents a growth of $3.8 million over last year's revised budget.

Expenditures for this fiscal year, as represented in the budget, include various capital improvement projects throughout the city such as repairs to the Newport Pier and Semeniuk Slough dredging. The budget also includes salaries and benefits for new staffers to work Marina Park and three new police officers and a sergeant to focus on the Balboa Peninsula.

The city is expected to spend $21.5 million this fiscal year to set in motion the council's plan to more quickly pay down the city's $257-million unfunded pension liability, budget documents show.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive.

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