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Fort Macleod’s Devonian Walkway signs to be replaced

devonian walkway
Fort Macleod council last week approved replacement of three signs in the Devonian Walkway.

The Town of Fort Macleod will replace deteriorating Devonian Walkway signs.

Council approved a plan to replace the three signs following consultation with Fraser Shaw of Alberta Historic Resources and the Fort Macleod Built Heritage Advisory Committee.

“Two of the three signs are quite badly deteriorated,” Town of Fort Macleod director of operations Adrian Pedro said.

“The one on the south end is still in relatively good shape but the other two are certainly not and they do need replacement. One of them is getting progressively worse as time goes on.”

Pedro was at the June 8 council meeting at the G.R. Davis Administration Building asking council to approve a $20,000 budget.

The plan was to replace the three signs with ones made from metal and given a layer of powder coating.

Pedro told council metal signs with powder coating would last longer and require less maintenance than the present wooden signs.

Pedro had obtained an estimate of just over $19,000 from Weston Manufacturing Ltd. of Fort Macleod.

“We have put it out to multiple companies and we are asking companies to come up with their own design,” Pedro said. “To date this is the only quote we have received.”

Coun. David Orr was pleased to see the recommendation on council’s agenda.

The Fort Macleod Heritage Cultural Tourism Alliance has discussed the need to replace the signs.

“To say the one sign has degraded substantially is very accurate,” Orr said. “It has split in half, and luckily didn’t land on anybody.”

Orr asked for someone to clarify the significance of the name “Devonian Walkway” as well as the year 1991 imprinted on the sign.

“I don’t want to trample on history here but those two things have no meaning to me and I’m just curious.” Orr said.

Orr said it would be important to determine the significance of the name and year in order to determine if the town wants to retain them on the sign.

Pedro said he understood 1991 was the year the signs were put in place, and it was intended to keep the present wording on the new signs.

“If council would like to change that, we can certainly look into that,” Pedro said.

Coun. Jim Monteith wondered if the proposed signs met the criteria of Fort Macleod’s provincial historic area.

Pedro said if council is in favour of replacing the signs he would seek approval from the heritage resources branch of Alberta Culture as well as Fort Macleod’s own Built Heritage Advisory Committee.

“Should they not approve the metal, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t, we would reassess, of course,” Pedro said.

Pedro said there are few companies that would reconstruct the present signs.

The layers of wood need to be laminated and sandblasted.

“We haven’t found anyone to do it that way,” Pedro said. “Realistically the only way to do it is to put in metal or another material that is close to the wood.”

In response to a question from Mayor Brent Feyter, Pedro said the metal signs should last 10 years before they need repair or upgrading.

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