At least one of the three businesses that had contacted Falher’s town office about putting up a sign at the entrance to the community is ready to get the green light from local council.
Venture Parts Supply opened its doors in the spring on the other side of the tracks under the assumption that they could put a sign up alongside the others on main street to let people know they are here.
“We were looking forward to it,” said store owner Alden Johnson of Manning.
“One of our thoughts when we moved here was that they [signs] are nice and classy, angled,” he said.
“It’s nice how Falher does it, with a wide ditch and cut grass.”
Johnson has seen messy displays elsewhere in comparison.
The family’s store in Peace River doesn’t need a sign because of its location along the highway, and Manning, where the other store is, doesn’t have such signs, except for the new Kal-Tire one.
“That sign is an economic issue with us,” Johnson said.
“We still have people coming in here everyday who didn’t know we were here,” he said.
Johnson’s store manager Larry Olsen approached the town about the issue earlier in the year and was told the by-law allowing new signs had been repealed.
The previous year council had acted on the recommendation of the Falher main street re-vitalization committee and stopped new postings in anticipation of a consolidated, single 19-foot- high sign to host info for all businesses.
A 8×6-foot map design on a stone-based sandblasted cedar structure was planned to let people know visually where everything is.
“Our job was beautification of the street and we found having so many signs an eyesore,” said Lorraine Desaulniers, who was chairperson of the committee at the time.
“We had applied for grants,” she said. “But we didn’t get them.”
Mayor Margaret Tardif said the proposal is expensive and the funding hasn’t come through yet.
Also, the extended shoulder of the road that will allow vehicles to stop and read the proposed, big sign is planned to be built at the same time as another project on the slow go, the alternative road to the municipal campground, according to town administrator Gerard Nicolet.
The delays in the new sign prompted council to take steps to re-instate its previous by-law allowing signs, on the recommendation of the economic development board.
Economic development officer Dan Dibbelt brought the issue to the board after hearing Olsen’s concerns on behalf of Venture Parts Supply.
“Some people don’t like so many signs down main street,” admitted Dibbelt. “Some think it looks cluttered. But is it fair to say that businesses can’t put up signs in the meantime?”
Council agreed.
“It’s a temporary measure,” the mayor explained of the return to the old set of rules.
The by-law passed first reading this month and will now be advertised before council makes the final motions to pass it into law.
Winter may provide its own delay for the relatively new parts store.
“I have a couple of spots in mind for a sign,” said store manager Olsen, “but with the frost on the ground, we may wait until spring.”