City enters into review over way finding signage along Highway 3
It’s a sign of the times in Grand Forks.
The city will be entering into a review with the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure over signage along Highway 3 within municipal boundaries.
The agreement will not cost the city anything, said city deputy manager of operations and sustainability, Cavan Gates, as the province will be picking up the cost.
In its initial stage the city had two designs from the province to choose from.
“But the larger question is whether to do a sign review that would encompass all of the, for example, gallery signs, hotel signs, all of the amenity signs that you would see along the highway,” said Gates.
While pursuing the Wayfinding Sign project in 2017, city staff met with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to obtain permits. During that discussion, the ministry laid out their requirements for signs along the highway, said a city staff report to council, with those requirements precluding using the existing Wayfinding Sign design.
“The discussion turned to finding common ground between the objectives of the project and the ministry guidelines,” the report noted.
It was found that both the ministry and the Wayfinding Sign project looked to indicate the amenities available in Grand Forks and to have signs along the highway.
However, the ministry’s objectives included “safe and efficient transportation without creating sign clutter” or sign hazards, said Gates.
“They explained that they can do a review of existing highway signs, and implement any recommendations,” he said. “This would mean updates or changes to the current white and blue information signs.”
Gates said the province knew how to achieve the “maximum impact” using highway signs with experience in hundreds of communities over thousands of kilometres of highway.
The province would also supply and install any new or changed signs including entryway signs.
City signs on for solar project
The budget for a new solar project for Grand Forks was approved by city council.
The 2018 project budget of $65,000 for the SolarNow project was approved by council and will be included in the 2018-2022 Financial Plan bylaw.
The proposed project budget for 2018 is $65,000 with the city contributing $40,000 and the grant program contributing $25,000.
Council had originally directed city staff to pursue the SolarNow project and grant at the May 15, 2017 regular meeting. Discussions with the SolarNow program officer moved forward throughout 2017 and into 2018.
As it now stands, the proposed solar project for Grand Forks would be a solar panel installation in a public location.
According to a city staff report, options that are being considered for panel installation include a stage covering in City Park, shade structures in a city parking lot, or shade structures in Gyro Park.
After the program has evaluated the potential sites, the preliminary design will be delivered to council.
“Funding must be confirmed before the preliminary design is drafted,” read the staff report.
It is expected that a solar generator for the project would be between 8-12 kilowatts.