Alberni council to meet with merchants over signs

Port Alberni city councillors voted Monday to have staff meet with South Port merchants to review the city’s sign plan.

There are still signs of life in the uptown sign issue.

Port Alberni city councillors voted Monday to have staff meet with uptown merchants to review the city’s sign plan.

In February, council voted 4-3 to maintain the city’s existing way-finding signage.

The matter arose after South Port merchant Jennie O’Connor wrote council asking for more signage directing people to South Port.

O’Connor, who owns Let’s Knit, noted there is more traffic in North Port than south and she would like to see signage at the entrance to the city letting people know there is another shopping district.

The issue stayed on the burner with a Feb. 28 letter to council signed by 31 South Port merchants.

In the letter, South Port business owner Glen Walushka said merchants expressed their disappointment with council’s vote to maintain existing signage.

“As local business owners and individuals who are looking to invest in Port Alberni, the message that was sent was not encouraging…,” wrote Walushka, who owns Analog Inn.

At Monday’s meeting Coun. Hira Chopra asked what the next step would be after staff meet with the merchants to review the existing sign policy.

City manager Ken Watson said the merchants were free to bring any further concerns back to city council.

There was no discussion about whether the city would reverse its motion or spend any money to do otherwise. But the possibility was left open.

“If it’s expensive they can come back and we can see what we can do,” Coun. Jack McLeman said.

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