Port McNeill opts out of Communities in Bloom program

Editor Teresa Bird says the vote to opt out of the Communities in Bloom program fee closed the door on options that might have answered the bigger issues of labour and additional expenses to the detriment of the community.

Just as things are starting to grow with Communities in Bloom (CIB), Port McNeill council has pruned their support.

The issue isn’t the $475 application fee. It’s the cost of supplying labour and materials for projects.

Yes, getting ready for the judges is hard work, and the public works crew has been tireless in doing its part.

But instead of discussing how labour and material costs could be addressed through community support, the Town has simply said no.

Of course this goes in hand with the fact that Port McNeill doesn’t have a long-term plan for developing the town. The CIB committee has asked the town leaders for direction, but until now have not received any.

Some may think a few flowers won’t make a big difference, but CIB in other communities has shown that attractive communities tend to attract better businesses, more long-term residents and more tourists.

The Port McNeill CIB committee has already grown, earning three blooms of a possible five in 2010.

When Sharon Barratt asked for the $475 application fee this month, that is all she asked for. Any other support from council could have been discussed and an agreement reached.

If the town takes the lead by supporting CIB, the town’s businesses and residents are more likely to get on board too and do their best to look good.

Communities in Bloom registration? $475. A more attractive community? Priceless.

– North Island Gazette