Downtown revitalization groups looking at standardized signs in Arthur, Mount Forest

KENILWORTH – Arthur and Mount Forest may be looking at more standardized business signs.

When it comes to downtown revitalization, Lisa Hern told fellow Wellington North councillors on Feb. 4 there was recently a great meeting in Arthur and a lot of great ideas were suggested.

In looking at the terms of reference, committee members suggested the downtown vision statement be softened to indicate “we believe the health of our downtown is an indicator of the health of our overall community – versus shows the health of our overall community.”

Hern said one item not cited in the minutes is support in Arthur for a sign bylaw.

Mayor Andy Lennox clarified such a bylaw would bring some standardization to business signs.

Economic development officer Dale Small explained the  issue came up at both the Arthur and Mount Forest downtown revitalization committees.

“We’ll certainly see some recommendations coming forward on that,” said Small.

Mount Forest’s downtown revitalization committee minutes report agreement on using some of the community’s Main Street revitalization funding to promote blade signage.

There was also considerable support for a signage bylaw that would ensure restrictions and standards are in place for both storefronts, including vacant buildings, as well as for the proposed blade signs.

Lennox added “it will be interesting to see how that all unfolds.” He added it may take some time before there is a bylaw in place.

Council later supported a one-time Community Improvement Program grant of $617 for blade signage recently installed at The Plumber’s Wife in Arthur.

Herne said it was great to see a response to the Roger Brooks presentations regarding downtown revitalization.

She added that at the recent downtown revitalization meeting, business owner Paula Coffey indicated that in one day, she’d recouped the money spent on the new sign. The reason: someone walked into the store because the customer had not known Coffey’s business also specialized in interior design.

Councillor Steve McCabe  asked if the new sign was the right size to match proposed standardized signs in town.

Small said Coffey had reached out to the committee for input before getting the sign.

“She’s kind of the prototype in this,” said Small.

“We’re getting two local companies to provide us with quotes on doing this – with some specifications. We’ll leave the creatively to the business owners.”

Lennox said “sometimes the extra sign lets people know what one’s business is all about – the name doesn’t always tell it all.”