Arena signage rules questioned by advertiser

Privy designs, wheel chair access discussed at latest meeting

President of the Madawaska Valley Horticulture Society, Don Isbister, demonstrates one of the club’s apparatuses used to water the flowers in Combermere. The township might source its watering out this summer, and it is possible volunteers with the society might take the job over.

Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – A local businessman is questioning the Township of Madawaska Valley about why he has to relocate his sign at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre after eight years of it being in the same location.

Mike Papania approached members of council at the first heritage, parks and recreation committee meeting of the year held on January 26.

He said that after eight years of advertising his roofing services at the arena, the township is insisting that the sign, along with Vito’s Pizzeria sign, be relocated. The two signs are located near the scoreboard at the arena, rather than the south-end of the building like all of the others.

Papania said he wants to know what changed council’s mind.

“All of a sudden you want to move it, I think I deserve an explanation,” Papania said. “It took them eight years to figure out that my sign was up over the scoreboard?”
Chair of the meeting, Phil Conway, said council has received several complaints about the signs.

“We discussed it here, Mike, and we are prepared to keep the sign there until the end of the…hockey season,” Conway responded.

Councillor Sylvie Yantha expanded on that, saying that when businesses wanted to advertise near the scoreboard 20 or 30 years ago, they were all turned down.

“I think its small-town stuff,” Papania said. “Somebody complains about a sign, and you guys are going to move my sign. It doesn’t make any sense to me. That sign has been there for eight years. I didn’t just put it up… If that’s a hot spot, you should raise the price.”

Papania added that he also received permission to place the sign in its current location by township staff.

The committee said that they are simply going by the township’s bylaw, which states that all advertisers must place their signs on the south-facing wall.

“We have a policy, and if someone corrects us on our policy, we either have to change the policy or act. We choose to act,” Yantha said.

But Papania said he would like to see the policy changed.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me to loose revenue in that rink,” Papania said. “What I don’t understand is you will move my sign to the other side of the wall and eventually…someone will have that spot that I have now.”

The businessman warned that if he has to take his sign down, he will not be putting it back up at the arena.

Chair Conway reiterated that the signs will not be touched until the end of the season.

“That will give us some time to discuss whether or not we want to change our policy,”
Conway said. “I doubt if we will, but we will be discussing it.”

Council agreed that Vito’s and Papania will be getting a letter outlining council’s decision.


Next up was Don Isbister, president of the Madawaska Valley Horticultural Society.
He attended the latest meeting to provide an overview of the local club, and to plant some ideas of how the valley can become more beautiful than it already is.

The society is composed of horticultural enthusiasts from around the area, who volunteer their time to plant and care for flowers and other plants in public spaces. The group meets every month to share tips and discuss plans for the future.

Some of their projects include planting flowers outside of the post office in Barry’s Bay, and caring for the flowers along the lakeshore.

Isbister said a lot of work goes into flower maintenance, especially when it comes to watering. The township provides much of the watering services in the village of Barry’s Bay, but he noticed that flowers particularly in Combermere are suffering.

“We need to provide for regular watering…that’s going to be fundamental to keeping it looking good all summer,” he said.

Isbister said the flowers suffer especially during the long weekend, when township employees are off.

He noted that the flowers near the Combermere bridge are hung too high, and the horticultural society had to design special watering apparatus to water the flowers.
Council said the township has an electric watering apparatus that would essentially do the same job, but it would be much easier.

Yantha asked if the township will be sourcing its plant-watering out this summer. If the society is willing to take it on, then members can use the watering apparatus.
Meanwhile, Isbister said that the society would like to see flowers boxes along the bridge. He said there is 140 feet of railing, and suggested that the township purchase only one quarter of the required amount for this year.

Chair Conway asked the president to get a quote on how much the material will cost, and council will make a decision at a later time.

“You people are certainly doing a good job beautifying the area, and we appreciate it,” Conway added.

Conway explained that council will also be making a decision on the watering issue in the upcoming months.

This story continues in the February 2, 2012 issue of The Valley Gazette.