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Board ponders $15k anniversary banners

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen asked the Town’s Beautification Committee to investigate buying anniversary street banners, despite Town staff’s recommendation the Board not purchase them.

“The short version is, we can do it. But I would be negligent in my duties if I didn’t tell you we probably shouldn’t do it,” Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer told the Board Monday, Nov. 23.

Palmer indicated the state’s fiscal condition and the fact the Town is not even halfway through its budget year yet.

“We really don’t know where our numbers land yet, and we haven’t budgeted for this,” Palmer said.

One set of banners, about 140, costs between $12,000 and $15,000, depending on the amount of coloring used.

“It all depends on choice … whether you use stock colors and custom colors,” Leisure Services Director Sue Stuhl said.

McGill said he would advocate just buying half a set and interspersing the anniversary banners with the normal seasonal flags. The anniversary banners would be left up all year, he said, and could be reused every five years.

“They could say ‘Farragut Celebrates’ or something,” McGill said.

Stuhl said interspersing the flags could be difficult due to the wide array of colors the seasonal flags have.

“The difficulty is there is probably not a color that will work with every color we have,” Stuhl said.

“If you’re looking at a run of banners … [where] you can see a nice line of banners, you’re going to get a conflict of colors, no matter which way you look at it,” she added.

McGill said the banners instead could be placed on certain roads or at certain intersections.

Alderman John Williams asked if keeping the flags up all year would shorten their lifespan.

“Banners, when you use them seasonally … can last upwards to 20 years,” Stuhl said.

But, she added, the Town’s patriotic banners were left up for about a year after Sept. 11, 2001, and nearly a third had to be replaced since they faded.

“So you wouldn’t expect these to have the lifespan,” Williams said.

Stuhl agreed, but said different colors faded more quickly. Alderman Bob Markli said the flags would only be used every five years.

According to Stuhl, design of the flags would have to come from the Beautification Committee, be approved by the Board and then go to the sign company.

“This is a custom design; what we’ve used before is a stock design,” Stuhl said.

She estimated the design could not be delivered to the sign company before January, “and it takes six weeks, give or take, to get the banners.”

All in all, it could be two to three months before the Town received any banners.


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