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Published: Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 1:16 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 @ 12:14 PM
NEW LEBANON — UPDATE @ 12:14 p.m. (Oct. 17):
Dayton Power & Light will not charge New Lebanon a fee for hanging banners that honor veterans between Memorial and Veterans Day, according to a company spokesperson.
The company considers the time between the holidays as a season, which allows New Lebanon to submit a free seasonal attachment application.
Seasonal attachments are allowed to be displayed for up to 180 days.
The other application is for permanent attachments, which includes a pole inspection and annual fee, according to DP&L.
The New Lebanon Parks & Rec Facebook page featured a post about the decision Wednesday morning.
“The Hometown Hero Banner Project will continue!” the post read. “Whoohoo! Thank you everyone for your support...Your energy made all the difference!”
West Milton’s similar banner program honoring veterans reportedly also qualifies for the seasonal attachment.
A DP&L spokesperson said that the company will work with communities who are not in compliance with the attachment policies to help them understand and comply with policies.
For the past three years, New Lebanon has been honoring veterans by hanging banners all over the village.
Now, Dayton Power & Light is giving the Montgomery County municipality until Nov. 12 — the day after Veterans Day — to take those banners off its poles.
There are 125 of these banners for more than two miles in the village, with most attached to DP&L poles.
Residents who want to honor a veteran pay a one-time $150 fee to the village parks and recreation department to have a banner made. It stays up at least three seasons between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
This summer, DP&L officials noticed the banners and told village officials they will have to come down or DP&L will remove them.
Also, DP&L said the village would have to go through an application process that could carry fees as high as $328 per pole if they want to put the banners back up.
New Lebanon Municipal Manager George Markus said he wants to know why this is suddenly an issue.
“To me it looks like another way DP&L (can) generate a non-traditional revenue stream,” Markus said.
The village of West Milton in Miami County received an identical letter this summer.
The village has had its “Hometown Hero” banner program since 2014, but Municipal Manager Matt Kline said this is the first time DP&L has contacted them about it.
The DP&L application permit policy states it has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2017.
Kline said he has asked DP&L whether there would be a fee waiver or reduction but has not heard back. Meanwhile, Kline said the banners won’t go up for Memorial Day because it would be cost prohibitive.
The village of Lewisburg in Preble County just started a veterans banner program this year. Its banners have been up since April but so far the village has not received notice from DP&L.
DP&L spokeswoman Mary Ann Kabel said, “the company respects our veterans and is appreciative of the support shared by communities. All pole attachment requests, including seasonal banners, require that DP&L be contacted and each request must be reviewed for safety and compliance.
“We are currently working with our communities to come up with a solution,” said Kabel, DP&L director of operations.