Get in line early for banner space

They hang overhead as drivers enter the city from both the west and the east.

Almost every week of the year, the 30-foot-long, 3-foot-high strips of canvas advertise community events, fundraisers, festivals, class reunions and similar events.

"The program's purpose is to provide an additional advertising opportunity for local, nonprofit festivals or events which promote Sequim's history, culture, agriculture or natural resources and to provide attractive banners along the commercial routes to notify tourists and residents of festivals and events throughout the year," according to city policy.

The city has two banner spaces, one in front of Costco Wholesale at 955 W. Washington St., and the other in front of the The Co-op Farm & Garden at 216 E. Washington St.

Lorri Gilchrist, administrative assistant for the city's Public Works Department, said she will begin taking reservations for 2009 banners on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Nov. 3.

The applications are time- and date-stamped and must include a signature for the space to be reserved, she said.

The $75 weekly rental fee, payable to the city of Sequim, can be paid closer to the display date but no later than 30 days prior to the display date, Gilchrist said.

Each month Gilchrist compiles a list of those seeking banners and copies each application.

Then Public Works office manager Jeff Edwards reviews and approves the banners for display, Gilchrist said.

According to the city's policy, appeals of those decisions can be made in writing to the city manager within seven working days of the denial.

A public works crew hangs the banners about 7:30 a.m. every Monday morning, so completed banners must be delivered to the Public Works Department office at 615 N. Fifth Ave. by 1 p.m. on the Friday prior to the installation date.

Gilchrist said the city received $3,675 in rental fees to put up the banners for a week for 2007.

Participating groups must meet criteria that includes being a festival or event that primarily promotes the area, being sponsored by a nonprofit organization or government and open to the public, containing no advertising of a for-profit business' product or activity, being marketed outside the Olympic Peninsula and attracting overnight guests to hotels and motels.

Permitted banners include promotions for festivals, sporting events or fundraisers sponsored by nonprofit organizations, city-sponsored activities and commercially sponsored community events used for community service projects.

Other permitted banners include welcome messages for class reunions, conventions and athletic tournaments, promotion of youth organizations and community service organizations when proceeds go to specific community projects, nonpartisan reminders to vote and events promoted by other governments.

Banners not allowed for display include personal messages for family members, promotion of for-profit activities, promotion of events with a service charge that isn't used to fund a community service project, club events primarily for members and religious organizations with a message not related to a permitted category.

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