Council is holding off for now on an ambitious multi-year plan for new informational signs that could cost upwards of $737,000.
Called “wayfinding” in the information business, such signs are meant to provide people with a clear and easy to absorb message without lengthy explanations or complicated maps.
But councillors have approved the concept of the sign project and will include it when the District sets spending priorities for the five-year period beginning next year.
Council also directed staffers to “engage with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en and Wet’suwet’en communities on partnering for messaging with our community gateway signage,” said District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.
Staffers did recommend a limited sign project for this year for three signs to cost an estimated $241,150 but that was also put on hold pending council’s financial discussions for 2021 and onward.
The largest of the signs, to cost an estimated $134,550, was to be a gateway sign downtown to complement continued downtown beautification projects while two smaller ones, to cost an estimated $53,300 each, will be entrance signs on both ends of the downtown.
Based on design concepts from consulting company Urban Systems, the three signs would carry the community’s “Naturally Amazing” branding and incorporate timbers and stone along with lighting and metallic features.
The base of the gateway sign is already included in contracted improvements now going on but installation of all three would be an added cost.
Pinchbeck told council at its Sept. 1 meeting that $100,000 of the projected $241,150 cost for the three signs would have come from a provincial grant, $25,000 from the District’s unallocated surplus and $116,150 from a larger provincial grant already received for capital projects.
The sign concept as presented by Urban Systems would have more than 70 signs of varying sizes prepared and installed over a 15-year period identifying locations such as parks, other civic amenities, neighbourhoods, pedestrian walkways and directional indicators for vehicle traffic.
Other then the identified financing for the three signs recommended for this year, Pinchbeck noted that the costing for the full project is not included in current spending projections.
In earlier discussions, council members did wonder if all of the signs outlined in the full concept were necessary, whether signs would be visible from Hwy16 and whether there’s a possibility of local businesses producing the signs as opposed t non-local businesses.