March 8, 2007

Chamber Joining Forces With City, County For Banner Project

The Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce is joining forces with the City of Memphis and Scotland County to bring a new look to the Memphis city square.

Chamber president Chuck Kigar recently announced that the group has earmarked approximately $2,000 to purchase banners to be hung on the new light poles on the square.

The City of Memphis and Scotland County both have agreed to purchase new brackets and install the hardware to allow the banners to be hung on the light poles that were installed last year.

The city will handle the 15 poles on the outside of the square while the 12 interior poles around the courthouse will be funded by the county.

ďRight now the plan is to get these banners up around the square,Ē Kigar said. ďBut as soon as they go up and people see how nice they look, we hope to get some added financial support from the community to allow us to line Highways 15 and 136 as well so we can welcome visitors to our town.Ē

The banners will feature the United States flag and will say ďWelcome to MemphisĒ. The chamber also is considering additional designs that would tout the communityís past with images of Ella Ewing, the Pheasant Airplane, Tom Horn and other historic images.

The city council agreed to fund approximately $1,000 for the new brackets. The city annually budgets $500 for lighting and other beautification projects, and had positive balances in the fund that will help offset the cost.

Light Superintendent Dave Kittle noted that with some minor fabrication the brackets should also allow the city to utilize the Christmas decorations that could not be hung last year on the new light poles.

In addition to the banner project, Kigar stated that the Chamber is continuing to work with the city in an effort to find funding for new welcome to Memphis signs.

The chamber is interested in pursuing an enhancement grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation that could provide up to $25,000 for such a project. Kigar said the application deadline is May 1st, making it difficult to prepare a plan, but added that with public input on the proposed sign designs, a move could be expedited to get engineering work and cost estimates done in time to seek the funding this year.

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