Depew’s village banners may have been a hit a few years ago, but their popularity seems to be waning as some wonder where all of them are and why they aren’t displayed throughout the village.
Described by a few residents Monday as bland-looking and difficult to read, some questioned the Village Board about why the banners aren’t displayed on some village streets and seem to be primarily along just Terrace Boulevard this year.
But for Donna Murawski, the hurt is much deeper. Her children paid $130 for a banner to memorialize their late father, Robert Murawski Sr., a few years ago and haven’t seen it displayed since its first year.
“I am heartbroken. It is sad,” she said during an interview after the board meeting. “I’ve had no idea, for two years, where my husband’s banner is.”
Murawski told the board that the banners are no longer displayed on French Road where she lives.
“I only see them on Terrace Boulevard,” she said.
Village officials had no answer for her or Paul Sprada, who also complained about the situation. Brackets and clamps remain on telephone poles in the French Road, Columbia Avenue and George Urban Boulevard area for the banners, but no banners hang there now, residents said.
The now-defunct Friends of Depew, a civic booster organization, had sold the tan-colored banners about three years ago to display in the village. Residents and businesses could have their names on them. The banners contain a village picture across the top of them, with a village seal beneath the picture and the village’s 1894 incorporation date, with a business name or family name along the bottom of them.
Scott Wegst, a member of the organization when it was in full swing, said he didn’t know why the flags are primarily just along one street and what has become of some of them. At the time they were made, more than 100 banners were sold and the village’s Electrical Department is in charge of installing them to hang between April through October.
“I don’t know if some got damaged,” said Wegst, who promised to look into the matter with a village electrical worker.
Sprada said the banners were displayed for about a year. Murawski said she called the mayor’s office last year and this year, but got no response.
“It was a good idea,” but the lettering was too small to read and the banners have not been displayed regularly, he said.
In another matter Monday, Sprada told village officials that the cedar gazebo in Veterans Park needs to be maintained. Some of the cedar shingles are deteriorating, and it also has rotting wood, and a section of its railing is missing.
“It’s a little embarrassing to have a structure that nice that’s not being maintained,” Sprada said. “I hate to see it fall by the wayside and go into ruin.”
Sprada noted the gazebo was used July 17, during the Lancaster Town Band concert. At the time, the lawn had not been mowed, either, he said.