NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- Two large banners reading Keep Christ in Christmas have been taken down from city property after New Braunfels Utilities officials said the signs violated its sign-hanging policy.

The signs were up for less than a week.

NBU and the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus had a $240 contract to hang the signs from city-owned wires downtown for two weeks.

An employee didn't follow procedure. We are reviewing our banner-hanging policy with personnel, NBU spokesperson Gretchen Reuwer said.

We're not telling somebody they have to believe in Christ, but they shouldn't tell us we can't talk about it either, New Braunfels resident Bill Smith said.

Two local business owners stepped forward and offered to let the Knights of Columbus hang the banners on their property.

Too many people forget what Christmas is all about. I think we need to put Christ back into Christmas, said Connie Friesenhahn, co-owner of B & C Service Center.

She offered to hang the banner on her building after hearing over the weekend that the signs were going to be taken down.

The utility has agreed not to collect the $240 and has even offered to pay the Knights of Columbus $1,040, the amount it cost to make the two banners.

A Keep Christ in Christmas prayer meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday at the downtown plaza in New Braunfels.

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