If you Google 'Walkerton,' most of the top 10 search results are articles about the 2000 E. coli contamination crisis that killed seven people and left hundreds more permanently affected.

Dave Inglis, mayor of the municipality that encompasses Walkerton, is hoping to change that.

“It still happens where you go away somewhere and say, ‘I’m from Walkerton,’ and they say, “Oh, the water tragedy,” he told CTV London.

“I’ve been worried about this for some time,” he added.

The municipality has applied to Ontario’s Rural Economic Development program for funding for a search engine optimization project that Inglis hopes will fix the online image problem.

SEO experts can advise clients on ways to create or modify online content so that more positive search engine results show higher in Google results, and more negative results appear lower.

The project would cost about $70,000, split between the municipality and the province if approved.

Inglis said the goal is to “never forget, but to move on with the positive aspects that this community can bring.”

Local residents seem to like the idea.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said a resident named Jim.

“We don’t want to forget the past but at the same time we want to go forward,” he added.

With a report from CTV London’s Scott Miller