County ‘tombstone’ needs $11K spruce-up

The granite sign outside the United Counties of SD&G building on Pitt Street on Thursday, July 12, 2018. County council is going to 'soften its look' by adding two stone columns after receiving feedback that the sign looks like a tombstone. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – Is it a funeral parlour or a government office?

The sign outside the county building, facing Water Street, was recycled from the pavilion at the 2015 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo near Finch.

But Clerk Helen Thomson told a council committee of the whole meeting Thursday morning there’s a need to “soften the look” of the sign which “resembles a tombstone.”

It was a jaw-dropping response from some councillors when they heard the first quote to do a designed stone column and base to match the polished granite – $21,000.

This proposed $21,000 design to soften the look of the county building sign facing Water Street in Cornwall, Ont. received a jaw-dropping response from county councillors. Many believe the option is too expensive, with a consensus for a design that’s about $10,000 less. (SD&G via Newswatch Group)

The second quote of $11,000 came from a Martintown stone worker – the same person who rebuilt the stone wall outside the church in St. Andrews West at the corner of Highway 138 and County Road 18.

The columns would be made of field quarry stone.

This handout to county councillors on Thursday, July 12, 2018 shows the type of columns that would be added to the sign outside the county building on Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. The county is looking to spruce up the sign after lamenting the sign facing Water Street looks like a tombstone. (SD&G via Newswatch Group)

The money will be coming from an existing budget for projects that were not completed this year.

“Are we trying to put lipstick on a pig?” Coun. Jamie MacDonald wondered, adding that maybe the county should be starting from scratch with an entirely new sign instead of trying to add to a recycled item.

A formal resolution to approve the work will come at Monday’s council meeting.