The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has decided to revive its hanging basket program for 2020.
The decision was made “to further stimulate Niagara-on-the-Lake’s economy as it gradually begins to reopen,” the town said in a news release.
“The beautiful hanging baskets that adorn the streets of all five Niagara-on-the-Lake villages are one of our town’s signature features,” Lord Mayor Betty Disero said in the release.
“The breathtaking flower arrangements provide a vibrancy to our town that residents and visitors have come to expect and appreciate. While we are not yet back to business as usual, I’m hopeful that the installation of these baskets will be another way to bring back some semblance of normalcy and hope to the town streets.”
The town announced the cancellation of the basket program on April 28 as a result of “inadequate staffing numbers and budget issues related to COVID-19.”
“In the weeks since this announcement, town staff have worked hard to recover some additional savings in order to revive this program,” said the town.
The decision to bring the program back was made after ensuring it is “still financially feasible and responsible, that the necessary contract staff can be rehired to create, hang and maintain the baskets, and that appropriate safety precautions can be maintained at all times.”
“Staff feels that the revival of this program will not only support the recovery of the town’s local economy, but it will also positively contribute to the mental well-being of residents and visitors,” the town announcement said.
“We’re thrilled to find ourselves in a position where we can safely bring back our hanging baskets,” stated Interim CAO Sheldon Randall.
“We’ve had a lot of comments just this afternoon at how pleased and how happy a lot of our residents are with moving forward with this program. So, I think it’s a good news story,” Randall told council Monday night.
Baskets are being prepared now and plans are to hang them in early to mid-June, depending on weather and staff resources.