The citizens of Tillsonburg have spoken.
And the message that came through loud and clear, is they quite liked the former Tillsonburg Cemetery sign, and would like its replacement to reflect its essential character.
“A sign similar to the old sign should be put back in,” summed up Bob Marsden, Chair Heritage, Beautification & Cemeteries Advisory Committee (HBCAC) during a Monday evening report to council.
A controversy was unwillingly kicked off via replacement of the long-standing sign with a modernized version, complete with Town of Tillsonburg ‘swoosh’ logo. Following significant feedback from the community, council empowered the HBCAC to script and distribute a survey seeking public input on the matter and make recommendations based on the same.
The resultant survey was released Monday, July 8, 2013, and was available at the town office or on its website until Friday, August 9, 2013. Collecting, interpretation and summarization of survey data was effectively concluded with a HBCAC resolution passed Thursday, April 17, 2014, supporting a replacement similar in character and appearance to the original; and endorsed by council Monday evening.
The option proposed by the committee and accepted by council is one of three considered. It is very similar, said Marsden to council, but not the same in the sense maintenance will be significantly reduced.
“It will take far less upkeep.”
The recommended option has white letters, raised and on an angle to provide enhanced visibility; framed by a row of armour stone in front, an ornamental cedar hedge to the rear and set off with black mulch or lava rock. Apart from being visually consistent to the original, it is, to reiterate, designed to be a lower-maintenance option.
“All that will be required is a little trimming around the hedge and the stones,” said Marsden.
In response to a query from Councillor Chris Rosehart regarding its projected cost, Director of Parks and Recreation Rick Cox indicated the lettering would be around $2,000, and in total, not including labour, the price tag was estimated to come in around $4,000.
Responding to a follow-up question from Councillor Rosehart, Cox indicated many of the stones from the previous sign are still around.
“But we don’t have a full set.”
Those that are, are in storage, he added, given there was no anticipation of redeployment.
Councillor Marty Klein suggested the replacement might not be exactly what the community wanted, but saw it as a ‘practical solution.
“I think this is a good option.”
Cox indicated the project would begin essentially with council approval in response to an inquiry from Mayor John Lessif as to timeframe. The mayor also suggested the discussion answered inaccurate ‘rumours’ its price tag could run toward $10,000.
“So people should relax and look forward to it being in place shortly.”