Brownstown to buy bicentennial banners

Some of the first signs of Brownstown’s 200th birthday celebration April 8 of next year will soon go up — literally.

The banners denoting the town’s founding in 1816 will be hung from 50 light poles along Main Street (U.S. 50) and other places around both the county seat and in Ewing.

Brownstown Town Council members approved the banner project, which has a price tag of about $6,500, during a recent meeting.

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“I personally think we’re a bicentennial town, and we need to do something to show it,” council President John Nolting said.

The project also has the support of at least one local company.

“Brownstown Electric has agreed to split the cost with us,” Nolting said.

Carl Shake, who owns that company, also has agreed to provide the labor for installing the banners around the courthouse, in Ewing and along Walnut Street, west of Main Street near town hall and the fire department, Nolting said.

Shake also is a member of the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County. That committee is planning three bicentennial celebrations in 2016 including Brownstown’s. The other two are for the county, which will celebrate its 200th birthday Jan. 1, and the state, which will celebrate its bicentennial Dec. 11, 2016.

The 2-by-4-foot banners will be made in four designs featuring different wording. One will say “Brownstown since 1816”; a second says “Welcome to Brownstown”; a third will say “Brownstown Ewing Main Street” and “Welcome”; and the fourth will feature the bicentennial seal and say “Celebrating 200 years.”

The banners, to be hung in the near future, will be made by Jerry Brown with Celery Signs of Brownstown.

Nolting said he has been told the banners, costing $69 each, will last through the end of 2016.

The town’s share of the project will be $3,211, and that includes the cost of five extra banners for spares and the hardware to hang 37 banners. The seven poles in Ewing already have hardware, Nolting said, as do some of the light poles on Main Street.

The hardware can be used to hang other banners once the bicentennial celebration ends, Nolting said.

The town will pay for the project with its cumulative capital improvement fund.

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said no money has been used out of that fund, supported by tax revenue from tobacco and alcohol purchases, this year. That fund contained $29,696.27 at the end of 2014.