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New Westminster sport sign locations guidelines developed

A one-year trial plan to allow minor sports organizations to display signs promoting registration in New Westminster has been developed by the city.

In January, the New Westminster Minor Baseball Association (NWMBA) complained to the media a registration sign at Justin Morneau Field in Moody Park had been taken down by city staff. The parks department was enforcing a bylaw that doesn’t permit advertising on city property.

Council, however, directed staff to meet with minor sports organizations to come up with a way to allow them to post the signs. On Monday, a report recommended four locations for a one-year trial period as well as working with the school district to allow signs on school property.

If council gives the go-ahead, approved signs would be allowed at Eighth Street and Eighth Avenue (Moody Park), Braid Street and East Columbia, Sixth Street and Tenth Avenue (Mercer Stadium) and Eighth Avenue and McBride Boulevard (Terry Hughes Park).

“On the surface that sounds of OK. It sounds like they’ve missed an opportunity for the Downtown core with all high rises,” said NWMBA president Ron Suffron. “If it’s passed it’s a very positive step in the right direction.”

Suffron said the ability to post signs on school property is particularly important.

“That’s huge, that’s a big deal. That would allow people to see it when they take their kids to school,” said Suffron. “We’re going in the right direction. It’s too bad it took so long, but that’s OK, I’ll take it.”

The report also suggests several guidelines for the organizations to follow including:

• Scheduling of signs to be coordinated through the parks department;

• Organizations be responsible for putting them up and taking them down;

• The signs be no larger than 4x8 feet, approved by the city and up for no more than 30 days.

The guidelines are reasonable, said Suffron.  “We have to be responsible too.”

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