West Kelowna council has approved $18,700 for two new cedar Welcome to West Kelowna city entrance signs with upgraded vandal-proof solar lighting.
The city’s current signs, made of metal panels with printed plastic wrap, are peeling and cracked and in need of repair, according to city officials. The solar lighting system has also been vandalized on several occasions.
The new signs will be more robust and visually pleasing from both sides, according to city staff. They will be made by city workers, who have constructed several smaller versions which are located in parks throughout the community.
West Kelowna’s welcome may soon change due to the work of Mother Nature and vandals.
In a report to council, the city’s parks and fleet supervisor Stacey Harding requests that council approve adding $18,700 to their budget for two cedar wood city entrance signs with upgraded vandal-proof solar lighting.
“The deteriorated condition of the signs was not detected until the final freeze/thaw events in the spring of 2017 thus not included initially in the 2017 financial plan,” reads the report from Harding.
At that time city staff discovered that the printed plastic wrap on the signs had deteriorated from temperature fluctuations and solar degradation. The freeze and thaw of the aluminum panels has also cracked the plastic in several areas and is visibly tearing away.
“The solar lighting system has endured many acts of vandalism including the solar panels shot at, batteries stolen and one complete pole and panel assembly cut down and stolen,” said Harding.
The signs the city may replace—one at the northbound entrance located just north of the Glenrosa overpass and the other at the south bound sign located south of Boucherie Road and Highway 97—haven’t been around that long.
In 2009, council requested staff work with a consultant to provide a community entrance sign design and location options.
“ln 2010, council approved a $30,000 budget for the construction of two signs and an additional $15,000 budget for two solar lighting packages,” said Harding.
“Parks staff installed both signs which reduced project costs. The signs were constructed of a series of metal panels with a printed plastic wrap forming the visible graphics and colours.”
A raised depiction of Mount Boucherie and a blue lower strip meant to signify Okanagan Lake were also installed along with the “Welcome to West Kelowna” lettering, which were separate from the main panels.
The new signs wouldn’t look significantly different than what was installed less than a decade ago, the report explains.
“Real cedar wood would be attractive and pay tribute to our communities logging and timber mill industries,” reads Harding’s report.
New cedar six-inch by six-inch timbers would be pre-stained and laminated tightly together.
The sign would resemble the existing shape however now have a true wood appearance.
The existing Mount Boucherie, Okanagan Lake and the raised lettering would be re-used. Subsequent maintenance would be a simple re-stain application.
The existing lights would also be re-purposed.