City ready to replace street-pole banners; will conduct design competition

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MLT street banners 004By Doug Petrowski

The City of Mountlake Terrace has begun preparations to replace aging street pole banners throughout the city, and will conduct a public competition to solicit banner ideas.

The need to replace present street banners with a new design was discussed by the Mountlake Terrace City Council at their work/study session on Thursday.

City officials surmise banner design ideas could be gathered over the summer by the Mountlake Terrace Arts Advisory Commission, with final selection of a winning submission made by the City Council in the fall. No specific timetable has been set yet as details to the plan still need to be worked out.

“I like the banner program; it really dresses the city up and gives us a chance to have a sense of identity,” said Councilmember Doug McCardle. “The banner has to be designed anyway and…there is a lot of talent within the community. So I think opening it up to the community is a good idea.”

City officials pointed out that hiring a professional graphic designer to design new banners would cost the city $3,000-$5,000, while there would be little cost to soliciting designs from the public.

The city also considered purchasing new stock banners, but couldn’t find anything fitting. “We weren’t able to identify stock banner designs that would really provide a sense of identity for the community,” said Curt Brees, the city’s Public Works Director. “We thought we would be able to find those, but what we found instead , more or less, was a lot of season banners or banners that might be geared around a specific event like the Fourth of July or Christmas holidays.”

Currently there are about 60 banners in use around Mountlake Terrace that were erected in 2007. “It was anticipated at that time that those banners would be in place probably three or four years, so we’ve extended the lifespan by a bit and they have now been in place for several years and they’re starting to show their wear,” Brees said.

The city sought sponsors back in 2006 to help defray the cost of the banners, their installation and upkeep. City officials anticipate doing the same thing this time around too; sponsorships would likely be $175-$200.

The banner program began in 2004 when, in conjunction with the city’s 50th birthday celebration, 70 banners were sponsored, purchased and installed.

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