Just in time for the province’s gradual reopening plan, tourism in Harrison Hot Springs is getting an upgrade.
Council voted 4-1 to approve the installation of wayfinding signage at the corner of Esplanade Avenue and St. Alice Street. Coun. Ray Hooper was opposed.
The signage fills a gap in the Village Signage Plan, guiding tourists to different amenities, businesses and attractions throughout the village. Village staff estimate the sign would cost $5,000, to be funded by a partnership between Tourism Harrison River Valley, the Harrison-Agassiz Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures North Fraser and the village.
Hooper was concerned that if the sign was off the ground at a certain level that young children and dogs could hit their heads in an attempt to pass underneath it. Hooper said guide dogs in particular might tend to keep their heads down rather than looking straight up and might not see the sign coming.
“If we are going to put it in, can we make sure it goes straight to the ground?” Hooper asked.
He added council was “supposed to be de-clutterizing the village centre and the Esplanade,” and putting the sign in would go against that goal.
Village staff indicated there could be more wayfinding signage installed in the future, but locations for this signage are yet to be determined.
During the question period, resident Chantel Lemire asked council if there were First Nations land acknowledgements on the sign. Village staff indicated design elements were being finalized and that this would be taken into consideration.
Council voted 4-1 to approve the 2020 annual report. Village staff reported no feedback or comment from the public on the report. Hooper opposed the approval.
Council voted 4-1 to approve updates to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy bylaw with Hooper opposing.
Prior to the recently approved updates, the then-bylaw was adopted in 1995. The Local Government Management Association recommended a staff member rather than an elected official be designated as head of the local Information and Privacy Committee; the 1995 bylaw put the mayor, deputy mayor and the Freedom of Information and Privacy coordinator as “head.”
The 1995 bylaw was also updated to reflect technological changes, eliminating provisions such as audio cassettes as they are now obsolete.
Village staff said since 2019, there has been a substantial increase in FOI requests, at least four or five times per month. Each request is unique, making it difficult to estimate how much time it takes to process each one, but village staff indicated there are several labour hours involved with each.
Coun. Samantha Piper attended a Canada Day planning meeting. She said there’s plenty on deck for this year’s virtual festivities, including a pet parade, an online painting workshop for the kids, music performances and more. This year’s theme is “Everyday Canadian Heroes,” with the focus on essential workers throughout the pandemic.
Coun. Michie Vidal attended a Agassiz-Harrison Healthy Communities meeting, and she reported to council that Agassiz-Harrison is among the top three in Fraser Health in vaccination rates.
The next regular Harrison council meeting is scheduled for June 21 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. To get the link to the meeting room, visit harrisonhotsprings.ca.