Two Soiuth Jersey towns have welcomed the placement of "welcome-to-town" marquees, designed to enhance the local landscape and send a positive community message.

The signs, in Pennsauken and Evesham, were created by Thadeus Bartkowski's Newtown Square, Pennsylvania company, Catalyst Experiential.

"Each of the municipalities has the opportunity to communicate with both residents and visitors to their communities once every two minutes from each of the displays," Bartkowski said. "And we also supplement that municipal information and commercial messaging with nonprofit messaging from organizations that enhance the communities where these installations are located."

In Pennsauken, there are marquees on Routes 38 and 70.

"We were thrilled with the opportunity to transform an otherwise blighted spot along a gateway to our community, which was a poor reflection of our community, into an opportunity where we would have a water feature, a tower name recognition of our town, and local and regional advertising possibilities," Committeewoman Betsy McBride said. "It was just a win-win for us."

Ads interspersed with town messages completely fund the marquees without tax dollars in both Evesham and Pennsauken.

"It's this convergence of art, architecture and advertising into a single form that creates things that are unique for these communities, that reinforces a sense of place that is this particular municipality," Bartkowski said.

McBride says some local residents had concerns when they first heard about the marquees, but she said Catalyst was able to address concerns about ambient light and visibility.

All three marquees are expected to be fully operational over the course of the next year.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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