It's become an iconic symbol for the community of Westlake. For the last 30 years or so, a big green sign has welcomed residents and newcomers.
Many encounter it "every day," something Westlake resident Blake Landry can attest to.
But in the next few weeks the notable green sign will be getting an update, and it's all thanks to the efforts of La Ville Uni committee in the hopes of beautifying and generating tourism in the area.
"Since we are in such close proximity to the I-10 corridor, what a wonderful way to make our city known," said Ann Mimi Haye, chairperson over the new sign and treasurer for La Ville Uni. A local non-profit started in 2015 with the goal of creating an annual festival specifically for Westlake.
The new sign will showcase Westlake through various pictures, from the industrial sector to city hall and the high school mascot, the ram.
Those who drive past it seem excited about the upcoming change.
"That is pretty," said Mary Doucet. "It's colorful, and you can sure notice that. You can notice that one."
"I like that," added Tim Cotter. "I like it a lot. I think it looks neat."
"It's beautiful; it's eye-catching, that's for sure," said Paul Jones.
"I think that's going to be very interesting," said Jerryleen Rybicki.
"It's a lot better than just a big ole plain green sign," said Paul Soileau.
But that big ole plain green sign is causing a stir on Facebook, with several people upset about the change.
Several posts promoted the stay of the original white and green sign, with one Facebook user stating, "it's part of Westlake's history."
Several also questioned where the funds for the more than $50,000 project would be coming from.
"The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury donated $27,000 towards the project and Phillips 66 donated $26,000 to it," said Westlake Mayor Robert "Bob" Hardey. "There's absolutely no city money, no sales tax money going into it. It's strictly two grants. It's strictly P66 and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury supporting changing the sign."
The new sign will be the same size as the current one, at 17 feet tall and 124 feet long.
Within the next few weeks, the process of changing the sign will begin.
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