East WeEast Wenatchee Adds Fee For Installation Of Banners Within Citynatchee
The city of East Wenatchee will start charging for street banner displays after approval this week by the city council.
The $10 fee per banner is meant to offset some of the costs of installing and removing theme banners.
East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford says it definitely won't cover the total cost.
"I think it helps offset it," said Crawford. "It doesn't, obviously, make up the entire cost the city would do. But it takes a little bit of that bite."
According to East Wenatchee street team staff, it costs about $1,000 to both install and take down banners, with the cost being reduced when one banner is taken down and simultaneously replaced by another banner.
The city has installed banners for three groups not connected to the city, which would be subject to the $10 “banner facility fee” the council approved.
Each time, the city street team staff installed 37 banners, which means each group would have been charged $370.
City Council member John Sterk does not oppose the fee but says there's a problem with city staff installing banners for special interests.
"We're not done with this issue," said Sterk. "There's a tremendous amount of pushback in this community over this very subject. And this will not satisfy the concerns of the citizens of East Wenatchee."
The city has installed banners for groups representing three different interests - veterans, diversity and the Apple Blossom Festival.
During this week’s meeting, questions were raised about hanging banners promoting LGBT people.
This week’s addition of the “banner facility fee” is the second revision to the East Wenatchee banner policy.
In September of 2022, the City Council approved implementation of a Street Banner display policy that was developed to implement guidance provided in the US Supreme Court case Shurtleff v. City of Boston regarding theme banners.
The policy was then revised again in May of this year to cover event banners.
That revision placed applicant request responsibilities to the City Events Director, with the City Public Works Manager being responsible for approving event banner locations.
Theme banner applications must be sent to the city clerk between Jan. 1 and Nov. 1 a year prior to when the applicant wants to display their banners.
Applications will be available online or at City Hall.