The City of Quesnel will honour the community’s veterans by dedicating a portion of Kinchant Street as Veterans’ Way.
Council voted Feb. 26 to dedicate the 200 block of Kinchant Street — the block that includes Royal Canadian Legion Branch 94 — as Veterans’ Way.
The decision received much support around the council table.
Matt Thomas, the City’s director of Public Works Operations, shared a report with council explaining the associated costs and work required to dually name the 200 block of Kinchant Street.
To dedicate the 200 block of Kinchant Street to Veterans’ Way, Public Works is being asked to order signage and hardware to add to the current Kinchant Street name tabs and install up to two extra sign posts and signage to the current sidewalk along this block, explained Thomas.
“There was discussion about adding banners to the stands that are currently used by the Farmers Market, but these banner poles are not owned by the City of Quesnel, and thus, this was not investigated further by staff,” said Thomas.
Further discussions on this project have led to the idea of placing four banner poles along the Royal Canadian Legion side of Kinchant Street, behind the existing sidewalk, Thomas told council. He says three of these banner poles would be located on City of Quesnel property, but one would be placed in front of the Legion and would be on their property, as there is no available right of way present along this side of the street.
“It is important to note there will be ongoing costs associated with the banners, poles and their maintenance,” Thomas told council.
Thomas says it would cost approximately $5,000 for Public Works to install the appropriate signage to the existing Kinchant Street name tabs and install posts in the sidewalk. As well, it would cost approximately $12,500 to purchase and install the four banner poles, for a combined total of $17,500.
These proposed changes would not change the civic addresses of any of the buildings.
Coun. Ron Paull, who initiated this project, says when he first brought this to council a year ago, council supported the project in principle.
“I will say, since this idea came forward, the Legion is looking forward to this project,” he said. “I can find donors for the banners; all I’m looking for is the City to put the banner posts in. I’m hoping, given the fact we have so many photographs we want to cycle through, I’m hoping the posts would accommodate two banners. I’m asking that council please approve this project so we can move forward.”
Mayor Bob Simpson wondered if the simpler idea would be to do only street signs at either end of the 200 block of Kinchant and then work with the Quesnel Farmers Market to use their banner poles to honour veterans in November.
Coun. Scott Elliott leaned the same way as the mayor.
“This originally came to us asking to change the name of the road,” he said. “I’m fully in favour of that. I’m even in favour of asking the Farmers Market to use their banner poles in November. You’ve said Legion members are very excited for this project, but this wasn’t the project that was brought forward to council.”
Paull says it was always intended that there would be banners honouring Quesnel veterans in addition to the street signs.
“The intent never was to only have this as a display for November,” he said. “If it’s necessary for me to go out to the community to find funding for the project, I’d be happy to do it.”
Coun. Martin Runge noted council recently agreed to flashing lights at the crosswalk, and he felt that block of Kinchant Street is getting busy.
“I love the idea of having Veterans’ Way,” he said. “Maybe we could have those banners more than November, when the Farmers Market is not running.”
For Coun. Mitch Vik, the issue is funding.
“I can’t help but think there must be grant funding, and it would be a slam dunk in the community,” he said. “I don’t think it would be too busy if [the banners] are on private property. It just comes down to funding.”
Like Runge, Simpson was concerned banners would make this street too busy.
The mayor suggested council break off the idea of the Veterans’ Way street signs and the issue of the banners. He feels the City could at least talk to the Farmers Market about using their banner poles as a second phase of the project.
In the end, council voted to use $5,000 from Council Initiatives to install Veterans’ Way signs, to approach the Quesnel Farmers Market about using their banner poles and look into how to raise money for the banners.