Hastings Highlands council approves flower box expenditures

·2 min read

At their May 3 meeting, the Municipality of Hastings Highlands council heard a motion from Councillor Nancy Matheson to approve a reserve transfer of up to $2,500 from the Reserve for Economic Development for downtown flower planter purchases in 2023. Council subsequently approved Matheson’s motion. Matheson and Christine Hass, owner of Memories Tea Room and Bakery in downtown Maynooth, and business liaison with council for the flower boxes, comment on this reserve transfer for the flower purchases.

At the May 3 meeting, Mayor Tony Fitzgerald introduced Matheson’s motion to approve a reserve transfer of up to $2,500 from the Reserve for Economic Development for downtown flower planter purchases in 2023 and asked her to speak on it. Matheson told council that in 2022, the municipality gotten a grant from Ontario’s Highland Tourism Organization in the amount of $42,000 to enhance, beautify and increase accessibility in downtown Maynooth.

“We were able to purchase planters, bike racks, outdoor tables, accessible seating, and additional signage. The municipality has received many compliments on how beautiful and welcoming these changes have made our downtown area. The benches and tables were well used by both our residents and tourists. Fortunately, these are permanent fixtures and the only ongoing cost will be purchasing the flowers. Last year, we spent just under $2,300 on flowers, soil, and fertilizer. One of the merchants [Christine Hass, from Memories Tea Room and Bakery] has offered to take on the ordering, coordinate the planning and be a liaison to council, to ensure we once again offer a beautiful and welcoming downtown area,” she says.

With no further discussion or questions from council, the motion was voted on and approved.

Hass told The Bancroft Times that she took on the liaison role from Linda Lang from another downtown Maynooth business, Brush with the North, as the latter is busy changing the direction of her store to more of an art gallery and doesn’t have the time.

“Since COVID-19, we just haven’t gotten back to putting on events in Maynooth with a volunteer group. I am hoping that getting this group together to decide on flowers and colours, etc. will lead to the formation of a recreational type of committee which will plan some fun things for Hastings Highlands like we used to have. As far as the flowers are concerned, each planter will be cared for by the business nearest to it as we did last year. Soon I will send out an invitation to anyone who would like to help make some decisions,” she says. “It will be held at Memories [Tea Room and Bakery] over a cup of tea and a little something sweet, and that will be followed by a work bee to get the flowers planted!”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times