Group plans to camouflage unsightly vacant lots

Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee will set up vinyl wrap around fence next week

A group of residents and business owners devoted to rejuvenating downtown Trail has turned their attention to the two vacant gas station lots that have become an eyesore on Victoria Street.

Though the Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee has yet to make a presentation to Trail council on their ideas of breathing new life into the core, the group has decided to jump on this temporary-fix project.

“The idea is to deal with some immediate issues or concerns and one definitely is aesthetics as far as the gateway into the city is concerned,” said city administrator David Perehudoff, who sits on the downtown committee.

“The city is trying to deal more with immediate wins, if you want to call it that, and that was one that was felt was a priority that should be addressed,” he explained.

A graphically designed vinyl cover that sends a welcoming message to people driving through town will be wrapped around the fences of the vacant lots.

In addition five trees 15-feet high will be planted in each lot to further change the vacant appearance.

The city is picking up half the $20,000 bill of the project while Esso and Petro Canada will make up the difference.

“The idea is to deal with the vacant lots and how unsightly they are,” said Perehudoff.

“The entire vinyl wrap will cover the fence top to bottom so you won’t be able to see into the property at all.”

The fence cover and trees are only temporary while the companies finish their remediation program, which is expected to be completed within a year. Once the lots have a clean bill, they’ll be put up for sale.

The city has budgeted $150,000 toward downtown opportunities and action committee projects, but the majority of this money will be eaten up with an overall plan that will take into account aspects like traffic flow, parking and aesthetics.

The group will make a presentation to council at a meeting on May 24, where their sub-committees will present their individual goals.

A smaller project that is being looked at by the group’s marketing sub-committee is a potential farmer’s market in the fall.

The fence cover and trees are expected to be installed next week.