The electronic message board that stands next to Interstate 44 at the Pacific Government Center could use an upgrade, but officials say the money might be better spent to install a second message board.

Motorists traveling west on I-44 catch a glimpse of the messages flashing on the current electronic sign. The sign was installed in 2009 at a cost of $68,834.

The tourism commission budget approved at the April 30 meeting included a line item of $2,000 to maintain the message board, but City Administrator Steve Roth said no maintenance is needed at this time.

Alderman Herb Adams, who serves as liaison to the tourism commission, said rather than put more money into the existing sign he would suggest finding a location at the edge of town and installing another message board that faces eastbound motorists.

The discussion took place at the April 30 tourism commission meeting.

Voters approved a tourism tax, or motel room tax, in April 2007. State statute called for the city to form a five-member tourism commission to determine how the funds would be spent.

One of the first expenditures the commission identified to bring visitors to the city was an electronic sign adjacent to I-44 that would advertise events in the city.

The commission allocated $70,000 for the sign in its 2009 budget and in June of that year the city advertised for bids to construct a sign.

Sign Experts, Pacific, was the only firm that responded to the request.

No determination was made on the future of the sign.