Changes suggested to make town feel inviting

Misleading . . . Balfour resident Cynthia Coop says the town would be more inviting to newcomers and visitors if signs like this one pointing to a general store that is no longer operating were taken down. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Signs in Balfour do not make it easy for visitors and newcomers to find their way in the town, a resident told Ardlussa Community Board members last week.

Cynthia Coop spoke during the public forum at the board’s August meeting held in Balfour.

Miss Coop said she had been living in Balfour since October.

“I love this community.”

She enjoyed meeting people and joining in community activities but had not found it easy finding out what was available in Balfour.

“I was confused by lots of signs.”

There was a sign at the turnoff to Balfour which said there was a store in the town which sold rural supplies.

“The general store doesn’t exist anymore.”

She had heard that people still knocked on the door of the former store expecting it to be open.

The public toilets sign pointed inthe wrong direction.

“There’s just a few little confusing things that could very easily be upgraded.”

It was also difficult to know where dogs could be walked in the town, she said.

She got into trouble with a landowner after she let her dogs off the leash on what she thought was public land but was not.

“There was no sign to say this is private land.”

While she had discovered Balfour had lots to offer it was difficult knowing what facilities were available in the town or how to access them because there was no signage.

“Lots of things are secret squirrel.”

When she asked people in the town how to find out information she was told “everyone knows”.

However, obviously newcomers would not know, she said.

Balfour would be a more inviting place to visitors if the signage was updated, she said.

There was not even a sign pointing to the town like there were in Riversdale and Athol, she said.

She did like the coloured lights which were hanging in the town.

“They are fantastic.

“It feels festive every time I walk out there.”

She approached the board to find out if there was a fund which could be accessed to improve signage in the town but she was also willing to help fix the problem, she said.

Board members were sympathetic towards Miss Coop’s observations.

“Your enthusiasm’s wonderful,” Ray Dickson said.

Council community partnership leader Kelly Tagg said she could help with a request to get the council signs moved.

It was possible the council’s graphic design team could create a sign for Balfour, Mrs Tagg said.

After the meeting Miss Coop said she had talked to many people who agreed with her about the signs, so she decided to do something about it.

“I think there is so much potential for Balfour.

“I just wanted to sow the seed.”