County hears townships’ feedback to common signage plan

The lower tier municipalities that make up Haliburton County have concerns about common countywide signage.

Scott Ovell, director of economic development, updated county council on progress toward establishing a wayfinding signage plan during a meeting Nov. 9.

The wheels were set in motion in June toward the countywide community plan. Staff were directed to present the project scope to the township councils for their consideration. The presentations were completed over the summer and fall.

In a written report to county council, Ovell said township councillors raised questions that would be to be addressed if the project is to advance.

Townships want to be able to differentiate themselves on the signage. Another concern was the inclusion of privately-owned assets on wayfinding signs, and the inclusion of vehicular-, pedestrian- and cycling-based signage.

“All those presentations were met with favourable reviews,” Ovell said.

Councillor Andrea Roberts said branding is important and helpful to visitors to the county.

All Townships adopted resolutions to support the development of the project, and committed staff resources to support the identified areas within the project.

It is recommended that $30,000 be included in the 2023 budget to complete the project.

Coun. Cecil Ryall said the wait has been long for a countywide wayfinding plan.

“I like the idea that you’re going to give individuality to the municipalities,” he said.

Ryall asked if evidence of the work thus far will be seen, perhaps in the first quarter next year?

“I realize we may not have anything in place by then,” Ryall said.

Ovell said that would depend on the support of the incoming, recently elected county council.

“Once we get that go-ahead, we would ideally want to have something tendered by the end of the first quarter,” he said.

The next phase would be concepts and plan development. A request for proposals will need to be issued to find a contractor to identify sign locations, sign types and messaging, and to recommend designs.

County staff will meet with municipalities to get an inventory of existing signage

“We can hit the ground running and it puts us in the best position to move forward with the goal of ideally having something in the form of a plan before council in the summer or late in the summer,” Ovell said.

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James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo