Chamber asks for help with focal sign

Resurrecting the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce sign would showcase Alberni Valley history and act as a highway visitor magnet

Resurrecting the focal point sign at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce would showcase the history of the Alberni Valley and act as a magnet to thousands of visitors who drive past every year, executive director Bill Collette said.

According to Collette, the old 25-feet high by 11-feet wide sign that used to sit at the front of the chamber property has been collecting dust while stored away in Somass Mill.

The sign needs some refurbishing but is in good shape despite having lain outside for three years. The chamber has indicated to Western Forest Products that it would find a new home for the sign this year.

Collette proposed that the sign be moved to and erected at the north entrance of the chamber property. More than 30,000 visitors who stop by the location would see the sign, he said. The chamber is also amenable to erecting it at another location, Collette added.

Quotes to move and erect the sign range from $18,000 to $24,000, he said. The chamber has set aside $1,500 for the project.

The chamber asked for the city’s help to finish the project.

Coun. Cindy Solda is the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s representative on the chamber while Coun. Rob Cole is the city’s.

The pair advocated that the city wait to see what happens after the chamber’s meeting this week. “They may try and look for someone in the community to help them fund it,” Solda said.

She agreed that the sign would be an adequate fit elsewhere but that it would have maximum optic value at the chamber property.

“It’s been there forever. A lot of people would see it and take pictures by it,” she said. “I’d be all right with it if it had to go to McLean Mill but it really should go back (to the chamber).”

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