Esquimalt’s image may get scrub and polish

Signage and banners explored as township’s centennial inches closer

Barbara Noyes and her husband John stand where the welcome to Esquimalt sign above their heads is hidden by tree branches on the corner of Admirals Road and Craigflower Road.

Barbara Noyes and her husband John stand where the welcome to Esquimalt sign above their heads is hidden by tree branches on the corner of Admirals Road and Craigflower Road.

With Esquimalt’s centennial around the corner, residents and municipal council are looking to polish up the township’s image along Craigflower Road.

But some residents aren’t able to stomach the estimated price tag for new banner holders and new or freshly scrubbed welcome signs.

The cost to spruce up two signs at either end of Craigflower Road at the township’s borders would be $8,800, while the township would need to fork over about $20,000 to maintain three welcome signs on Admirals, Tillicum and Esquimalt roads.

“To fix those signs – 20,000?” Esquimalt resident Rod Lavergne recently asked council. “I was in the old (council) chambers when they decided to put those signs up.

“So we haven’t maintained them for 20 years?” he said. “Lord love a duck, I wouldn’t admit that.”

Those signs simply need a good scrubbing, not a $20,000 overhaul, said Muriel Dunn, a long-time Esquimalt resident.

“Some Ajax and a garden hose would clean them up.”

Mayor Barb Desjardins liked the idea of putting in new signs, similar to those at township parks, while Coun. Lynda Hyndleby was concerned about expenses as well as losing Esquimalt’s historical association as “the place of shoaling waters.”

“If we’re concerned with cost, now is not the time to change that,” she added.

As much as Craigflower Road resident John Noyes hopes to see banners with Esquimalt’s name flapping in the breeze along his street, he expressed concern over a staff report on the cost to install 43 poles – too many for his comfort.

The report outlined cost scenarios for 43 basic-design poles, which would cost $120,400, $129,000 for decorative poles, $215,000 for decorative poles with lights, plus $17,000 to outfit each of the poles with two banners.

“Having lived over in that area, you’re often feeling like you’re just not quite a part of Esquimalt, and we have the opportunity next year with our celebration to make Craigflower that signature road, the same we have done with Esquimalt Road,” said Desjardins, who agreed that 43 poles aren’t necessary.

Township staff has been asked to report back with the maintenance needs and cost to replace the five welcome signs, as well as pricing for six to 12 banner holders.