• Jim Mosher

Winnipeg Beach explores streamlined communication strategy

Winnipeg Beach deputy mayor Pat Green would like to see communications with ratepayers and visitors streamlined. (File Photo)

It’s time for a social media facelift in Winnipeg Beach. That’s the view of Pat Green, the town’s deputy mayor. Green and her council colleagues want a cohesive communication strategy – sort of a one-stop shop for information about town services, including but not limited to recreation, heritage and council news.

Town information is currently provided on the town’s web site and its Facebook pages.

There’s also a town-sponsored newsletter for its Age Friendly committee, chaired by Green. She participated in the launch of the newsletter, an occasional publication called “Beach Buzz”. The first edition last month highlighted community events, such as those at the local legion and an ongoing gathering of fibre artists. There were also news briefs about a nascent residents’ association and the congregate meal program at the lodge.

“We’ve now got our community centre Facebook page, which is fine. And we’ve got our town page,” Green explained during a regular meeting Dec. 19, adding events on the town page should be focussed on what is happening in Winnipeg Beach, rather than surrounding communities.

(Green chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Tony Pimentel while Counting. Larry Banks, celebrating his marriage, was also otherwise indisposed.)

“The idea is to try and make information easier to find,” she continued, noting that events from other communities are often shared on town pages. “If we start throwing in everything [the town’s message is diminished.] There are other sites that people can look at. We want to keep our sites very easy to find.”

Green also highlighted the need to provide some direction on posters highlighting town events. She said some posters are cluttered and “not easy to read”.

“They’re a bit busy and they’re dark. It’s nice to be creative but sometimes the message can be lost. From an accessibility perspective — and making sure people can read information — posters should be clear and light.”

Green said guidelines that focus on providing a clear and consistent informational message will be provided to staff who post on the various town social media sites.

In other business at its regular meeting Dec. 19, Winnipeg Beach council:

* Learned that the town plans to launch a digital mobile app. “It’s a really slick app,” said Green.

Before a launch staff will update town pictures so they are more current.

* Approved allowing a property owner on Spruce Ave. to use a plastic culvert under a driveway access to the road.

Not a great idea, observed veteran Coun. Daryl Carry. “People want plastic because it’s cheaper,” he said. “We found over the years that they just didn’t hold up to metal.”

Council approve the installation of the plastic culvert pending a review of its policy, which is likely to include a provision that only metal culverts be used in high-traffic areas.

* Learned from Coun. Frank Masi that the rec committee is examining the possibility of establishing an exercise area/gym in the basement of the community centre.

It’s expected a fee will be charged to users. “We’re getting the costs together,” Masi said.

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