A banner project
Committee examines funding, projects and banners

Daniel MacIsaac
Northern News Services

Inuvik ( May 12/00) - Inuvik's Beautification Committee is making progress, by fits and starts.

Snow still covers much of Inuvik and a serious clean-up effort has yet to begin. But the committee -- which formed over the past couple months -- has been trying to rally support and input from businesses and residents to create a strategy that can be implemented as soon as the weather improves.

The committee is also trying to produce budgets to obtain the funding needed to accomplish its goals. This was discussed at a public meeting last Thursday. The meeting also gave the committee's various subcommittees an opportunity to report on progress. A list of clean-up projects for the Inuvik Works training and employment centre was also drafted.

"There's no money for this identified in the budget right now, and the only way we can fund beautification is if there is a surplus somewhere," said deputy mayor Peter Clarkson at the meeting.

Coun. Clarence Wood, town tourism and fund-raising co-ordinator Brian Desjardins, Lyle Neis from Inuvik Gas, Samuel Hearne principal Carson Atkinson and David Connelly, spokesperson for the Mackenzie Delta Hotel Group, also attended.

Clarkson said compromising because of finances might mean recommending to council that it purchase just 15 of the recommended 30 modern garbage dumpsters this year, and the other 15 next year.

The committee also discussed securing corporate sponsorship and having local businesses buy their own dumpsters or advertise on them.

Representing the education and communication subcommittee, principal Atkinson said progress has been made in getting the kids involved.

He said a number of junior high students had submitted entries into a clean-up awareness poster contest, including offerings by Florissa Blake, Doris Rogers and Courtney Roland.

Town council got the chance to look at them and committee members said they were looking into how to reward winners and get businesses to sponsor prizes.

Atkinson said more student designs are coming and the subcommittee would continue to work on a "green raven" logo and consider a "green raven" citizen of the week nomination.

Fund-raising co-ordinator Desjardins said he was able to secure banner holders at a reasonable cost for Inuvik. Designed to hold a banner with an image and town slogan, the holders will hang from lamp posts up and down Mackenzie Road.

The holders also have hooks for handing flower baskets, and Clarkson said that's something the Community Garden Society may be able to provide.

Among the more imaginative committee proposals is making use of man-hours set aside for the town by Inuvik Works.

Suggestions for projects included having work crews help elders clean their yards or offering residents the chance to call for larger items to be picked up and carted away.

"How can you haul away the back end of a car if you don't have a truck," said Wood. "I think people will like that service if they don't have their own vehicle."

But Clarkson and Connelly also returned to the issue of funding the proposals as well as providing suitable motivation for local businesses to take part.

Clarkson said many details still have to be settled, but he did succeed in at least one point at the meeting. The week of May 26-June 4 has been accepted as Beautification Week in Inuvik and could be the kick-off for a clean-up effort.