Chamber offers reward

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mel Payne

About a year ago the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce started a program to try to beautify the towns of Kenbridge and Victoria. The program was designed to try and make our main business streets more attractive for people to shop. The long-range goal was to keep businesses open, bring in more stores and hopefully bring some jobs to Kenbridge and Victoria.

The chamber of commerce started with a total of 24 flowerpots along with the dirt and flowers to go in the pots. Businesses were asked to water the flowers in the pots closest to the business. Most of the flowers did well, but some died. The chamber collected the pots and replanted them with flowers and a plant that would live for a long time if it was taken care of. The pots were returned to our main business areas in Kenbridge and Victoria.

If you consider the materials — the large pot, dirt, flowers and plants — the estimated replacement cost would be about $75. When you add labor, gas and the truck to deliver and set the pots in place, the cost would be close to $100 each. The chamber of commerce considers this an investment in stores in our towns and possible jobs for our community. It is expected that some of the plants will die.

This happens. It happens with the plants we have in our yard at home that usually get the best of care. It came as a surprise to me, but I guess it is understandable, that a number of the pots have been broken by people parking their cars and running up on the sidewalks hitting the pots. In the past year this has happened three times. If drivers will hit trees, signs and lamp posts while parking, you know they will hit a flowerpot. This has to be considered as normal wear and tear.

What I cannot understand is the vandalism and theft of these pots and the contents. These pots at two different businesses were not placed at the edge of the sidewalk but on the sidewalk away from the street. To hit this with a car would require the car to be driven completely on the sidewalk and around signs to hit the flowerpots. This did not happen, but still the flowerpot was broken.

In one case the shrub that was planted in the pot near the office of Hawthorne & Hawthorne was stolen. In another, not only the plants but the whole flowerpot was stolen. This has to stop. This is not what we want in our community.

We want Lunenburg County to be welcoming to people and business. Because of this, the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce will offer a $50 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone who takes or deliberately destroys property that is for the public in the towns of Kenbridge or Victoria.

Mel Payne is president of the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at (434) 696-3626.