New 'welcome' signs coming to Warren


Warren will soon become a little more inviting to travelers.

A group of and town volunteers and boosters have come up with a design for new "Welcome to Warren" signs, and have received the Warren Town Council's blessing to install several of them along the town's borders. The council will meet later this month to finalize its approval.

The signs, paid for with private funds, were designed collaboratively by the Warren Economic Development Board and several business owners and artists, including Warren sign painter Tony Depoto. Done in maroon, white and gold leaf, they show a depiction of Warren Town Hall with several seagulls, and greet passers-by with "Welcome to Warren Rhode Island. Established 1747."

The signs are being created by Mr. Depoto in his Parker Mills studio.

"Tony's a great local artist," said councilor Scott Lial.

"Folks probably see his work all the time and don't realize it's his. It's great to have him involved in this."

The signs will be placed at Market Street along the Warren/Swansea border, at the town's entrance at Route 103, and in north and south Warren, along Route 114. Councilors need to meet later this month to formally approve several of the signs, as they technically were asked earlier this month only to approve the Market Street sign.

The only concern one councilor had was the current "Welcome to Warren" sign that sits on the Swansea/Warren border. Council president Chris Stanley said he lives a stone's throw from the sign and recalls that it was put up as an Eagle Scout project.

"I just wouldn't want to see it thrown out," he said, before being assured that the sign will be saved, and perhaps brought to Warren Town Hall.

Those behind the signs said they'll bring some much-needed consistency to town, which according to the EDB's Karen Dionne has "inconsistent and generic signage."

"We have to market Warren with a consistent message," added the EDB's Brandt Heckert. "I think that you'll find that around town there's a couple of older signs that are outdated, to say the least. And in another place you'll find you enter Warren without even knowing it."

One of the main advocates and supporters of the sign project was EDB member Mark Lombari, the owner of Parker Mills. Though they'll be paid for with private funds, Mr. Lombari and the others asked for DPW help in installing them, and were given the OK.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.