August 22, 2014

Elyria
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Avon Lake’s controversial banners coming down

AVON LAKE — Bye-bye banners.

Just a year after Mayor Rob Berner’s decision to hang welcome signs throughout the city, the 74 “Welcome to Avon Lake” banners tied to city utility poles have worn out their year-long contract.

The banners displayed the city’s seal and Web site address and were paid for by local businesses, which were able to advertise on the banners they sponsored.

While there’s no specific timetable for when the banners will be taken down, Berner said the city doesn’t plan to replace them anytime soon.

“We’ll deal with that next year,” he said. “At this point, the company that created the banners no longer wants to deal with Avon Lake.”

A slight rift between Berner, Council members and the banner company, GCI, developed last year when the banners were hung without Council’s approval.

The yearlong contract for the banners also violated a local sign ordinance limiting the time frame to just 60 days, but the support of several local business owners sponsoring the banners swayed a Council committee to allow the owners to fulfill the GCI contracts.

Berner said that the next time he decides to promote local businesses in a similar fashion, he’ll get Council’s approval.

Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.