- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - Bay City may soon end a $1.15 monthly fee that’s charged for attaching American flags to streetlight posts in downtown.

Mayor Christopher Shannon told The Bay City Times (https://bit.ly/1k7JCsw ) he’s had residents calling him about the issue recently. He said they’re asking why the city “was charging a tax on patriotism,” prompting him to meet with City Manager Rick Finn to find a solution.

Finn is expected to recommend to the City Commission on June 2 that it vote to drop the streetlight fee.

“What we need to find out is how long they can stay here and then work out some kind of schedule,” Shannon said. “This is a solution for the short term.”

There might be a fee if brackets need to be replaced, Shannon said.

The update comes as Bay City business owner Avram Golden works to raise money to replace flags that have worn out over the years. With about 100 flags downtown that fly from Memorial Day weekend into October, the fee costs Golden about $575 per year.

“If they waive it, of course, that’d be a good thing,” he said. “Replacing the flags would be a little easier.”

Golden, who owns Golden Gallery and Custom Framing, spearheaded the Raise a Flag in Downtown Bay City program, which kicked off in 2010. About 50 of the flags need to be replaced, since they have tatters and tears from being flown each summer.

“The flags add a lot of life to the downtown and complement it nicely,” Golden said.

Golden hopes to raise $1,000. He said a $20 donation replaces one flag and helps with costs including the $1.15 fee. He said the flags are a nod to his brother Ari Golden, who serves in the military, but they’re also a reminder to honor all who served or currently serve in the military.

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Information from: The Bay City Times, https://www.mlive.com/bay-city


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