SEYMOUR, Ind. (WDRB) -- A new 13-foot welcome sign in the city of Seymour is getting attention, both good and bad.

Seymour residents say it's not the size of the sign they don't like. It's the size of its price tag the don't like, but Mayor Craig Luedeman said it will be worth the money.

"Our goal was to get you into Seymour, Indiana to get you off the interstate. It worked. You're here," Mayor Luedeman told WDRB.

He said the new sign, which has only been up for a few days, was paid for with a $1 million grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

But, the city had to match 20% of that and some residents aren't happy about it.

"I didn't care for the sign. I don't like it. It cost a million dollars! Actually, it cost more than a million dollars," said Darius Roark, Seymour resident.

But Luedeman told WDRB the grant had to be used for a cosmetic project.

"It couldn't be used for anything else, unfortunately. I would have loved to see it used for roads or something else but we decided we wanted to clean up our gateway," he said.

Luedeman decided the old sign, which had been greeting drivers for 20 years, wasn't going to cut it.

"It was basically falling apart," he told WDRB.

He wanted something more impressive to attract out-of-town visitors. The new sign lights up at night and has symbols which represent the history of Seymour.

"The train for example, the city was formed by the railroad," he explained.

The sign also has a guitar which pays tribute to Seymour native John Mellencamp and corn stalks to represent the importance of agriculture in the community.

Still, some residents call it tacky.

"Bad art, graffiti maybe," said Roark.

But Luedeman said not everyone feels that way and he stands behind his new city symbol.

"I actually just left a local restaurant and a guy greeted me and said the sign looks fabulous so you get that and you get some oh the sign, we spent way too much money. You're going to have that. I knew that going into it," he said.

The sign is the first phase of a larger three phase project which also includes a park and a walking path.

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