City to focus on entrances and second avenue corridor in 2022 beautification plans

Prince Albert City Hall (Herald File Photo)

City of Prince Albert crews will try to spruce up the city entrances and Second Avenue corridors as part of the  2022 Prince Albert beautification initiatives approved by City Council on Monday. 

Council approved $75,800 for the City Beautification Functional Area during the City’s 2022 budget deliberations. On Monday council gave their first vote of approval for this year’s beautification plan, much of which is focused on areas where visitors and residents receive their first impression of the City. 

The funds provided will help make the City clean and presentable, and will also offer an opportunity to achieve other beautification related maintenance goals on a yearly basis.

Main focuses for the beautification process will be grass cutting and weed whipping in these areas, as well as planting flowers at various locations around the city. The City will work in partnership with the Prince Albert Regional Economic Development Alliance (PAREDA) on planting, care and maintenance to the flower beds at the Visitor’s Centre. Flower purchase and planting is estimated to cost between $15,000 to $20,000.

This will be the second year of renting a Foam Stream weed control system as an alternative to herbicide, costing an estimated $15,000 for the months of May through September. It is an all-natural product with a user-friendly system and does not require special certification to operate. Areas of concentration for weed control will be 2nd Avenue, the downtown core,  Memorial Square, and City facilities, amongst others. 

Graffiti removal efforts will also be a main focus for this year’s beautification process. Approximately $10,000 to $15,000 a year is spent on graffiti removal efforts through operational spending. The City will continue its partnership with a local contractor to help address graffiti removal in a timely manner throughout all areas around Prince Albert. City Staff will help in some instances where the contractor is not able to attend outside of the 24 hour removal window. 

The City also offers an ‘Anti-Graffiti Paint Program’ to help assist property owners with a gallon of paint, plastic gloves, paint tray, roller and brush to cover over tagging that has taken place on their property.

Council earmarked $10,000 of the fund for additional tree and shrub planting opportunities to improve the esthetics of areas around Prince Albert. The City will be looking to partner with local groups like PA Model Forest to utilize a volunteer base for this project. Planting material can be used to help draw the eye away from less desirable locations, while defining and warming more approachable areas. 

Considerations for the City’s future planning processes for beautification opportunities include the Rotary Adventure Park slated for 2022 at Little Red River Park, the Sisters in Spirit Monument installed near River Street East and 1st Avenue East, and the 6,000 plus square foot outdoor workout gym at the Alfred Jenkins Field House ready for use in Spring of 2022.

A future discussion has been recommended to create a more comprehensive inter-departmental plan on what needs prioritizing in terms of City beautification. The Community Services Department serves as the maintenance arm of the beautification effort, but a more corporate focused plan involving consultations with key stakeholders may be required in upcoming years. 

“I believe that beautification requires a bigger vision than what I feel like we are able to deliver. We are a small cog within the city. It requires more thought, more vision, and more strategic planning,” said Tim Yeaman, City Parks Manager. “I think it requires a deeper conversation.”