The Town of Banff is continuing with the next phase of its $2.17 million project to install customized signs to better direct tourists around town.
At a cost of $415,000 in 2011, 38 more signs will be installed as part of the Banff Wayfinding Project this year.
Concerns have been raised about the costs of the signs over the life of the five-year project, but Mayor Karen Sorensen said there are no financial surprises here.
“This is an expensive project and we are certainly putting quality material into this,” she said.
“But this budget was passed by council and was carefully considered. The cost was known to council.”
Thirty-eight more signs will be installed this year, including 10 large and 12 medium directional signs; three small signs directing vehicles and 11 directing pedestrians. There will also be two pedestrian kiosks.
The areas include the Norquay entrance to the hospital, the south side of the Bow River near the Parks Canada administration building and directional signs for Tunnel Mountain and The Banff Centre.
Councillor Leslie Taylor has been vocal with her concerns.
She noted it will cost taxpayers about $6,500 per sign over the life of the five-year, $2.17 million project, including taking out old signs, installing new ones and fabrication.
She said the signs are more expensive because they are custom made and not constructed from off-the-shelf material.
“I am convinced town staff did their homework and got the best prices, but choices around design and customization drive the budget,” said Taylor.
“It’s not so much just for this project, but the underlying question is whether the cost of customization is warranted by the benefit to the community – and that is a question we have to ask in everything we do.”