Selectmen poised to post regs for Sherman Green banners
Updated 6:46 pm, Sunday, October 9, 2011
New rules governing the display of banners at Sherman Green are being hoisted into place.
The Board of Selectmen last week informally agreed on new guidelines for the banners hung above the downtown green, at Post and Reef roads, but the panel won't vote on them until its meeting set for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in Sullivan-Independence Hall.
One new requirement is that organizations that want to promote an event or a cause at the green will have to fill out a questionnaire, indicating whether the group is town-sponsored, or a civic, cultural or non-profit organization, or a group of businesses advertising an event that will draw people to town.
Events must be held in Fairfield, and if the banner is not advertising a particular event, it will be displayed only if there is room -- up to six banners can be flown above Sherman Green at one time.
"I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible," said Selectman James Walsh, who was given the task of drawing up the guidelines. Under no circumstances, Walsh said, will banners for an individual business be considered for what would be considered an advertisement.
Organizations will not be granted permission for more than one banner per calendar quarter without permission from the Board of Selectmen.
And banners can be displayed for no more than a two-week period.
Walsh suggested also requiring a $50 deposit that would be returned when a banner is picked up. "It's becoming a problem," he said. "No one comes to pick them up."
Walsh said Westport requires such a deposit for banner displays on public property.
"My concern is that now we would have bookkeeping required with your condition," interim First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. "Maybe we should see how big a problem it is. Most groups want them back; they cost money."
The selectmen decided instead of a deposit fee, any banners not picked up after 30 days will be disposed of.
The applications for a banner would continue to be made through the first selectman's office.