The City of Port Alberni is still working on a design for a “Welcome to Port Alberni” sign at the city’s entrance.
Bill Collette, executive director with the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, contracted Scott Signs out of Parksville to come up with three designs for a Port Alberni welcome sign. All three designs say “Welcome to Port Alberni” and have space for the city, Tseshaht First Nation and Hupacasath First Nation logos.
Currently, an Alberni Valley welcome sign is posted on the side of the highway near the city’s entrance, but this sign is actually located on Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District land.
Collette suggested putting the new sign at the corner of John Street and Johnston Road (near the entrance to Walmart).
“There are three or four entrances to the city,” he admitted during a council meeting on Monday, Sept. 28. “But maybe it’s just starting with the first and seeing where we go from there.”
The total project estimate comes to more than $43,000, which includes design work, construction, landscaping, lighting and yearly maintenance. The city currently has $25,000 in its budget for a welcome sign.
A few councillors expressed concern about the fact that a local artist was not hired, but Collette said he had trouble getting a response from local designers about the project. The contractor, Scott Signs, also designed the Nanoose Bay welcome sign on the side of Highway 19.
Mayor Sharie Minions said the proposed designs were “a good starting point” but wanted to provide more feedback about the sign before any decisions were made. She added that she would like to see more colour.
“I am quite picky when it comes to things like this,” she laughed. “I do really like the basic concept. I would like to see us have something that is more authentic to Port Alberni.”
She asked councillors to look over the designs and pass along any feedback to the Chamber of Commerce.
“Given that we’re not in any kind of urgent rush to get the sign done, I think we should make sure that it is exactly as we wanted before we proceed,” she said.