SIMI VALLEY – The charred “Welcome to Simi Valley” sign greeting visitors along the freeway as they drive into the community will soon get a new, flashier look. The 30-foot-by-12-foot sign near the Rocky Peak Road exit on the Ronald Reagan Freeway was scorched in the Topanga Fire, which blackened more than 24,000 acres along the Los Angeles-Ventura county line. Now members of the three local Rotary clubs and city officials are partnering up to create a bigger and better sign measuring 42 feet wide and 15 feet tall. “We love being able to welcome people into our community,” said Jim Lowry, past Rotary club president and a member of the sign committee. “We’re also dedicated to doing something that’s high quality and will set the stage of what Simi Valley is to visitors.” The gateway sign at the city’s eastern end was built 10 years ago on a chain-link fence background with letters made of wood and covered in fiberglass. The face-lift is expected to cost roughly $100,000. Visitors entering the city boundaries will soon see sandstone monuments, backlit by solar energy, and surrounded by two 30-foot flagpoles that will be illuminated at night – a sign that supporters say better reflects this community of 120,000 residents, home of the Ronald Reagan Library and a new regional mall. The new welcome sign should be erected by March, Lowry said, and commemorates Rotary International’s centennial anniversary. Officials hope to raise the funds through grants and fundraising efforts. Simi Valley Councilman Glen Becerra said the joint venture – the city provided the architecture – works well for everyone. “That’s a sign that tells you you’ve entered Simi Valley. I believe that needs to be done in a high-quality way.” Angie Valencia-Martinez, (805) 583-7604 [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!