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Chamber wants to welcome visitors with banner on light pole

The Retail Committee of the Perham Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping to give visitors a "fresh and warm welcome and to give those same visitors a visual road map to all retail and service business sectors in Perham."...

The Retail Committee of the Perham Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping to give visitors a "fresh and warm welcome and to give those same visitors a visual road map to all retail and service business sectors in Perham."

The committee wants to install 150 welcome banners throughout Perham. The plans call for new banners on every decorative light pole on Main Street from Sixth Avenue East to Highway 51, on First and Second Avenues South from Main to Second Street South, on Third Avenue to Coney Street, and on Coney Street to Pamida. The Happel addition would be phased in when light poles are installed and additional businesses begin to open. Committee members have discussed North Highway 8/ First Avenue, but no decision on banner placement has been made.

On Monday, April 10 Chamber Director John Thorup asked the Perham City Council for approval for the committee to move forward with the project and also for financial assistance. Thorup says the cost of the banners will be paid for by area merchants through sponsoring individual banners. Assistance is needed to pay for the cost of the brackets between $6,000 to $8,000. He would like to see the project completed by June 1 with city crews helping to install the brackets and hang the banners.

While council members liked the concept of the project, the cost had them asking for more information. Jerome Boedigheimer said although it would be a plus to have the banners, no funds were budgeted for this type of project. City Manager Bob Louiseau indicated there is no money that hasnt already been committed somewhere. In order to be included in the budget a request would have needed to be made last August.

Kevin Keil pointed out with the life of a banner considered, it would amount to about $15 per year. Keil thought the City could assist in putting the banners up, but not with the cost of the brackets. Mayor Pankonin suggested Thorup to do some more research to determine what existing businesses were comfortable with paying for a banner.

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For now, the Retail Committee is left with a great idea and a need for a funding plan.

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