Proposed councillor initiatives for 2018 include River Mill Park improvements, wayfinding signage

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With Huntsville’s budget subcommittee working on the 2018 draft budget, councillors had the opportunity to submit initiatives that they’d like to see included. Three were presented at the General Committee meeting on October 25.

Councillor Jonathan Wiebe would like to see some improvements made in River Mill Park, including four to six deciduous trees planted along Dara Howell Way, more Muskoka chairs, and some chain link fencing around the community garden which would help to keep animals out and would allow users to weed-whack the perimeter for a tidier look, he wrote in his initiative.

“I spent some time in River Mill Park this year as a tourist. I went to take a look at it with fresh eyes and just observe,” Wiebe told committee. “I think to demarcate the park (with trees) would be a small spend. It does lack shade and lacks that vegetation… The bandshell has quite nice shade and would be a lovely spot to sit and have lunch, it not being used on the average day. Maybe a few more Muskoka chairs scattered not just on the bandshell but around the park.”

Committee was amenable to those two suggestions, but when Wiebe mentioned chain link fencing for the community garden, he met with some opposition.

“I don’t think chain link fence looks nice anywhere,” said Mayor Scott Aitchison. “And I think it’s time for us to talk a little bit more about that community garden because I think in general it looks pretty awful. I understand the objective of what we’re trying to do with the community garden but I’m wondering if there’s not a better, more effective way than what exists there right now.”

Councillor Bob Stone agreed, suggesting that the garden might be better suited for a property like Muskoka Heritage Place.

Huntsville has some dated wayfinding signage scattered around town

Huntsville has some dated wayfinding signage scattered around town

Another new initiative came from Councillor Nancy Alcock, who suggested that the Town start planning for a municipality-wide revamp of its wayfinding signage. Council has been talking about it for several years, she noted, but the funds never make it into the budget. With committee’s recent discussion about signage for Lions Lookout, Alcock thought now would be a good time to start planning for more.

At the suggestion of staff, she is recommending that the Town start allocating dollars to a reserve “so that when we actually know what we are doing for a municipal-wide sign strategy, which we might be doing in partnership with the Chamber and BIA and others, we have some dollars set aside for a larger initiative.”

The final initiative presented at the meeting came from Councillor Jason FitzGerald who submitted some updates to the Port Sydney Community Hall kitchen for consideration, including replacing a dishwasher, sinks, island cupboards, and upper cabinets.

All three resolutions were to be forwarded to the budget subcommittee for consideration for 2018.

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7 Comments

  1. So glad to hear that finally there will be planning for way finding signs. Since the Summit Centre was built in 2010 I have been asking about signage around town to tell people where it is. If we are marketing to bring in visitors, not all of them will have smart phones with data packages to look up locations.

  2. I would like to see the three utility sheds moved from view of Main Street. When you stand on Main St or are about to drive through those lovely River Mill wrought iron gates that would seemingly usher a tourist into the beautiful center of town by The docks and the river, all you can see are three sheds t (albeit very nice ones) that look a bit like outhouses. Maybe a fountain or something that is beautiful would be more fitting?

  3. More trees in the park would be a good thing. As for the community garden being at the park, it’s a good location but it needs to be made to look a little more neat and tidy. But sadly it won’t be kept neat and tidy unless it’s regularly looked after and I can’t see the town footing the bill .

  4. I am definitely in favour of expenditures on wayfinding. The problem, however, is that the subject is immense; and signage is but a small part of it. Even signage has particular rules which govern everything about it.

    Signs erected to align with these stipulations would necessarily contrast with every other sign in town. To do a proper job would require a consultant and a staged approach. Doing things haphazardly would only lead to a more costly replacements/retrofits in the future.

  5. Emmersun Austin on

    “And I think it’s time for us to talk a little bit more about that community garden because I think in general it looks pretty awful. I understand the objective of what we’re trying to do with the community garden but I’m wondering if there’s not a better, more effective way than what exists there right now.” With a little assistance & not a chain link fence, the community garden can be exceptional. It’s definitely not awful when an assortment of vegetables are being produced: mind you, this year’s abundant moisture did not help general growing. If the town and/or strategic partners are interested in investing in an excellent fence, building raised beds, facilitating access to excellent soil and wood chips for walkways on a consistent basis & a few other additives, the river mill community garden will be much more appreciated.
    To truly improve river mill park, the town needs to re-think the paved parking space: remove it; its an eyesore. Add more trees & benches.

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