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Gainesville City Council OKs marketing advisers
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The Gainesville City Council on Tuesday approved the creation of an advisory board for the new, city-operated Main Street Gainesville and appointed seven members at the council’s meeting.

The board is made up of business owners and others with an interest in downtown Gainesville’s square.

Linda Orenstein of Gem Jewelry, Scott Dixon of Scott’s on the Square, Debra Harkrider of Main Street Market and Cheryl Hardin of Gallerie 110 will represent downtown businesses. Gary Funk of Georgia Power, Gladys Wyant of The Arts Council and property owner Art Kunzer will also sit on the board.

Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said board members will serve two-year terms that will be staggered.

Three members of the initial board will serve until 2011, and four will serve until 2012.

Board members will work for the Main Street Gainesville manager, which the city is looking to hire.

Councilwoman Myrtle Figueras encouraged other businesses and residents to attend the Main Street Gainesville board meetings as well.

“The meetings are always open and anyone can always come,” Figueras said.

The council also contemplated the city’s sign ordinance before approving internally illuminated signs for the future RaceTrac gas station at 1450 McEver Road.

Attorney Wes Robinson asked the council to consider allowing the company to use red and green lettering on a screen to display fuel prices. He said red numbers would be for gasoline prices while green numbers would list diesel prices.

“That’s become the standard in the industry and it helps differentiate the price,” Robinson said. “Diesel drivers now look for the green.”

Gainesville’s city code currently calls for all digital signs to use amber-colored lighting only.

Robinson pointed to the many signs that have colorful, flashing and scrolling messages along Browns Bridge Road.

Community Planning and Development Director Rusty Ligon said the sign code was updated to give a more clean, consistent look to the city’s gateways.

“As you drive out Browns Bridge Road, as you all are well aware, you’re going in and out of the city and into the county, so some of those signs may be in Hall County,” Ligon said. “Another thing to keep in mind are those are older signs so those are going to be grandfathered in.”

Councilman George Wangemann said he thinks the ordinance is unnecessary.

“I really like (red and green) better than the amber, and I think sometimes we get into little nitpicky things like this that really don’t mean a hill of beans,” Wangemann said.

Councilman Bob Hamrick agreed.

The council voted 3-2, with Hamrick and Wangemann dissenting, to approve the request with amber-colored lighting only.

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