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Mobile sign bylaw amendment receives support at public hearing

City must consult with province before final reading takes place
City council meeting (Sept. 16, 2019)
From left to right, Rachelle Pinder (Reflect Signs), Leanne Rutherford (Vallen) and Cara Butler (100 Women Who Care) all voiced their support for a new zoning bylaw amendment for mobile sign usage during a Sept. 16 public hearing at Thompson City Hall.

Following a Sept. 16 public hearing and council meeting, the City of Thompson is one step closer to amending a zoning bylaw to allow mobile signs to be placed on their land.

Currently, businesses are only allowed to put mobile advertising signs on their own property.

Before councillors voted on second reading of this bylaw amendment on Monday, following its Aug. 13 introduction, they opened the floor up to the public to voice any support or objections. 

Rachelle Pinder from Reflect Signs said the amendment will provide more advertising opportunities for businesses that don’t own commercial property, including home-based operations.

“The continuing success of Thompson hinges on the success of our businesses,” said Pinder. “Additional advertising will create more revenue for local business, business growth equates to more jobs and more jobs mean more spending back into our economy.”

Cara Butler from 100 Women Who Care Thompson also threw her support behind this amendment, telling council that this increased flexibility for advertising will help her organization, which is comprised of local business owners and entrepreneurs, grow. 

Finally, Vallen branch manager Leanne Rutherford said this change will benefit her and any other local business that operate in out-of-the-way places like the industrial district.

“We have very limited space for advertising,” she said. “Right now the economy here is changing and we need to capitalize on it any way we can and advertising to local contractors that may not know we’re in town until they drive through is really important to us.”  

The only voice of opposition on Monday came from Manitoba Infrastructure, which informed city council, through director of development services Harkamaljeet Singh Gil, that a couple patches of land they designated for local advertising actually belong to the province.

The designated advertising sites that were flagged by the province include locations north of the Burntwood River and south of Burntwood Road at the entrance to the city.

So while the second reading of this zoning bylaw amendment passed unanimously, council had to table third and final reading for a future date after they get a chance to consult with the department of municipal relations.

The next Thompson city council meeting is Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.

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