Building on the momentum of an initial meeting held in January at City Hall, local business owners, contractors and other volunteers are making plans to spruce up Prince Rupert’s downtown.
Applying a fresh coat of paint or creating some temporary park-like spaces are some of the projects the group has in mind. And as people hear about the project, enthusiasm is growing with more people coming on board to lend a hand, said Sharon Rothwell of Rona.
“I talked to the Colt Stava of the Rupert Rampage and he’s committed to some labour hours. If we want to clean up or paint or something, his guys are on board,” Rothwell said.
“They’ve agreed to do an event at our store and all the money we raise will go toward downtown beautification.”
Glen Saunders, owner and operator of buildings and businesses in Cow Bay, said he’s convinced there are doable projects that can easily help the downtown look better even if it’s for the short term.
“I think what I would like to see and what I’ve been starting to work on are some of the empty lots that are empty in the downtown. They are key locations,” Saunders said of the initiative.
“One beside Cook’s Jewellers, the one beside Zorba’s and the one where the old Epicurean was. I see those as easy quick areas to clean up and have them look better quite quickly.”
Even moving some of the City’s surplus planters, now on the waterfront by the Via Rail Station, would help, Saunders added.
“At the Epicurean site, with three trees and a couple of benches, the place will be cleaned up.” Saunders also pinpointed some derelict buildings in the downtown that all need paint.
“It might not be a perfect fix, it might not be hardy plank, but if we could divide up and commit to take care of one building or area, so that we kind of divide and conquer,” Saunders said, adding that several people in the community have told him they will donate paint, buy a can or donate time to come out and paint.
“We’d get it done this April so that when the summer hits we’ve actually made a physical difference, with not a lot of money but with a little bit of effort.”
It’s not a perfect fix, he added, but it will be grass roots.