New urban gateway signs are on the way after council approved a plan put forward by the Economic Development Advisory Committee's signage sub-working group at the September 11 meeting of council.
The signage sub-working group has been meeting regularly since May of last year to develop new urban gateway signage that would delineate entry points to the former Town of Meaford, now the urban centre of a largely rural municipality. $35,000 was included in the approved 2017 operating budget within Economic Development to create two new urban gateway signs.
The new signs will be placed on Highway 26 near Swarthmore Drive, and on the opposite end of the urban area near Albery Court, which is the current location of the western boundary gateway signs.
During the discussion among members of council it was noted that each of the rural hamlets in the municipality currently have signage identifying entry to those communities, however there is a desire on council to replicate the new urban gateway signage for the rural settlement areas, and replacing the apple in the design (see drawing) with an emblem representing each community.
“Future gateway signage should be considered beyond the Urban Settlement area. The Rural Settlement area is defined by the Municipality of Meaford Official Plan as 'developed and undeveloped lands within the settlements of Bognor, Annan, Woodford, Rockford, and Leith',” noted the report to council. “A strategy should be developed in 2018 for enhancement of gateway signage for some locations or all of rural settlement areas and historic settlement areas. Future costs would be presented to council for their consideration in the applicable annual budget.”
The report noted that the new signage will include low maintenance gardens and solar lighting.
“It is estimated that the installation and maintenance of the new gardens will cost $500 per year per sign, or $1,000 in 2018. This would increase either the Economic Development budget or the 2018 Parks, Recreation and Culture Department’s maintenance budget,” noted the report.
Members of council were enthusiastic about the design of the new urban gateway signage.
“I want to say thank you to the sub-working group, I think that's awesome work, and without a working group like that, things like this don't come before council,” noted Councillor Tony Bell. “It's high time that we did something to improve the look of the (former) town of Meaford.”
Municipal staff will issue an RFP (request for proposal) for the design, build, and installation of the new signage.