DON’T expect the City of Terrace to get a warm reception when it asks if it can install a ‘Welcome to Terrace’ sign in Thornhill within the Kitimat-Stikine regional district.
At least that’s going to be the reaction from Thornhill regional district director Ted Ramsey.
“I think they’re going to bring it to the [regional district] board meeting and propose that they put the sign within Thornhill boundaries and I’m going to oppose it adamantly,” said Ramsey last week.
“Good neighbours put their signs and fences on their own property.”
The prospect of the city wanting a welcome sign was discussed by city council two weeks ago when council members favoured the pull out just past the Hwy16/Hwy37 four-way stop before crossing the two bridges heading into Terrace.
It’s a current popular spot for signs advertising cultural, recreational and seasonal events as it is.
Ramsey also wants a sign, this time welcoming people to Thornhill, but would have it placed across the highway from the city’s favoured location to catch the eye of motorists approaching the Hwy16/Hwy37 four-way stop.
While many consider the four-way stop the boundary between Terrace and Thornhill it’s actually west of the four-way stop, meaning the city’s intended spot for its sign is with regional district territory.
The prospect of Ramsey opposing the city’s intended location would continue a debate about signs and their placement that became prominent when the city removed a ‘Welcome to Terrace’ sign that was located along Hwy16 in Thornhill by the Costa Lessa Motel.
It’s been there for years but its placement and wording was opposed by Ramsey because there was no mention of Thornhill.
Last fall a motion was passed by regional district directors indicated the sign offended Thornhill residents and that the regional district “suggest to the city that welcoming signs to the general area and located outside municipal boundaries [in Thornhill] should use ‘Welcome to Thornhill'”
The Welcome to Terrace sign was removed shortly afterward by the city and it’s been stored at the city’s public works yard ever since.
It’s this sign, awaiting refurbishment in the city’s public works compound, that council wants to place at that pullout just past the four-way stop.
And the location where the city sign once was is now the home of a new ‘Welcome to Thornhill’ sign created by local wood artist JJ Jung and financed with donations of money and in-kind labour and material organized by Ramsey.
City council debated a location for its sign two weeks ago, eliminating the stretch of Hwy16 near Ferry Island because of unsuitable terrain.
Council members did eventually agree on the pull out location with the exception of councillor Stacey Tyers who voted against a subsequent motion.
Tyers said any discussion was premature until both the city and regional district learn more about the transportation ministry’s plans to change the traffic pattern at the four-way stop.
The ministry announced last fall it was looking at a number of options, including a traffic circle to replace the four-way stop.
Any such plan might affect the city’s and Ramsey’s preferred sign locations, said Tyers.
“I think it jumps the gun, until the ministry has the intersection planned and then we start having those conversations,” she said during the council discussion on the topic.
Ramsey, in his comments, noted that the transportation ministry would also have to approve of the city’s and his sign locations because of its highway right of way jurisdiction.