Ladysmith council is looking at ways to help heritage building owners keep their buildings beautiful.
The Ladysmith Heritage Revitalization Advisory Commission has recommended that the town establish a Heritage Façade Improvement grant program, and town staff will be researching what other communities do to help building owners.
Coun. Bill Drysdale brought up the matter during council’s May 7 meeting.
The commission has discussed the need for a grant program to assist owners of heritage buildings with the cost of façade upgrades and has created an inventory of façade conditions to assist in preparing a grant program, perhaps with a focus on painting building façades.
“Grant programs in other municipalities have proven to be a success in promoting a revitalized building and streetscape appearance,” the commission noted in its report to council.
Coun. Gord Horth supported the concept but wanted more details from staff.
“I’m a big supporter of the idea, but I think staff needs to come back with a range of costs and ideas of projects we’d support,” he said.
Council supported establishing a grant program in principle, subject to a review and recommendation by staff.
During the same meeting, council decided to look into ways to clean up the posters and notices on the Travellers Hotel on First Avenue.
The Heritage Revitalization Advisory Commission has recommended that the town consider installing a public notice board on the west side of First Avenue to limit the notices posted on the Travellers Hotel.
“It just gets messy and screams out abandoned building,” noted Drysdale.
While he said he could understand the Heritage Advisory Commission’s concern, Mayor Rob Hutchins pointed out that there is a notice board beside Pharmasave, and people plaster their posters all over the posts when the board is full.
“Maybe we should send a letter to the [building] owner to get permission for someone to take the posters down daily,” he wondered.
“People will stop putting them up if they only last a day,” pointed out Horth.
Council will write a letter to the building owner asking that all notices be removed immediately.