News

East banner stand must wait

The city's banner stand at Washington Street and Sunnyside Avenue that was damaged in October 2008 won't be replaced until 2010 or later when sufficient general fund money or hotel/motel taxes are available, the Sequim City Council decided Monday night.

The vote was 5-1 with Councilor Ken Hays voting "no," saying he questioned the value of all the banner stands. Councilor Erik Erichsen was absent.

Councilor Susan Lorenzen said, "I can't support (replacing the banner stand now) in good conscience. It's frivolous and has a minimal impact because the people who see it already are coming here."

Councilor Bill Huizinga said it was "the wrong time and the wrong place" to replace the banner stand that was more effective in front of the Co-op Farm & Garden at 216 E. Washington St.

The proposed new location was on East Washington Street just east of Rhodefer Road.

Mayor Laura Dubois agreed with Hays.

"The west end banner stand is sufficient for now and perhaps for quite a while," she said.

Joe Borden, executive director of the Sequim Irrigation Festival, said as much as the festival uses the banner stand, it is a waste of money for the unpopulated end of town and this is not the time to spend the money.

"It's better for the city (not to replace it) if not for the festivals," he said.

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

In October, the eastern banner stand became unusable after one of the supports securing the 30-foot-long, 3-foot-high strips of canvas across Washington Street broke.

Interim City Manager Linda Herzog said the council in November 2008 approved spending $30,000 in hotel/motel taxes to replace the banner stand on the city's east end.

The funding was going to come from the city's hotel/motel taxes, which are paid by visitors to the hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and other lodging businesses. The city collects about $170,000 annually.

But the low bid from Primo Construction of Carlsborg was $37,000 not including additional decorative "clam shells" at the stand's base that cost an estimated $5,000.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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