In 2004, Fort Worth got a $265,000 grant from the state for its 'Keep Fort Worth Beautiful' efforts. Project leaders had a plan to spend it, but the plan faced so much opposition they're back to the drawing board.
On the north side of I-30, between Beach and Oakland, sits an, unofficial, Fort Worth landmark. It's a decades-old tree dubbed, the 'Homeless Christmas Tree.'
"There's a lot of history behind that tree," said Jim Marshall, of Fort Worth.
Until recently, a plan to put in a sign welcoming drivers to Fort Worth would have gone in near the tree.
"It would have been in front of it. It wouldn't have hidden it, but it would have been something you would have seen before you got to the tree," said Fort Worth Councilman Danny Scarth.
Stealing the tree's thunder was just one of many complaints about the original plan.
"Community members that hadn't been part of the original site selection were like, 'why are you putting it there, that's already beautiful? We don't want to mess with that spot,'" said Anne Allen, Fort Worth public art project manager.
"There are not too many cities, the size of Fort Worth, that have the good fortune to have a nice, beautiful green belt going into the city," said Marshall.
"There were others who said, 'Gee, it doesn't make much sense to say Fort Worth when you've already been in fort worth for three and a half, four miles,'" said Scarth.
Many complained putting the project in the location originally planned would have essentially left out everything to the east. The new plan is to put it between Eastchase and Cooks Lane. That's much closer to the actual city limit.
Still, the new location isn't pleasing everyone, though Meadows admits he's happier.
"We have an over-abundance of signage along I-30, and along a whole lot of streets and highways in our community and in our country," said Meadows.
Project leaders are careful not to call it a sign.
"The steering committee wants it to be unique. They don't want it to be a 'welcome to' sign. It probably will say 'Fort Worth,'" said Allen.
Meadows says he'd like to see the money go to landscaping along I-30, but Allen says there will still be some sort of structure. As to what it will be, that's up to the artist.
"We hope this will be a compromise between pure landscaping and something that would be purely sculptural," said Scarth.
Project leaders are also careful not to extend any delay. The goal is to have it under construction by 2012. They hope to have the bid out for artists by September.