Monday, December 01, 2014
St. Petersburg Council Better Negotiators With Billboard Industry
A St. Petersburg, Florida city council a couple of years ago gave its approval to digital billboards within that city in exchange for eliminating static billboard signs, but the deal was made on terms much more favorable to the city's residents than the one leaders of the Indianapolis City-County Council brokered with the industry. St. Petersburg's council initially gave a thumbs down to allowing any digital billboards within its city limits. Opponents wanted to eliminate all billboards within the city limits. The ordinance eventually approved unanimously by the council in 2012 called for the billboard industry to agree to give up 83 static billboards in exchange for just six digital billboards throughout the city of more than a quarter-million population. Here's the kicker. The billboard industry agreed to share 15% of the revenues generated from digital sign displays with the city.
That's in sharp contrast to the proposed Indianapolis ordinance drafted by the billboard industry. It would allow only current billboard owners to convert some existing static billboard signs to digital display as long as it removed just one other billboard located elsewhere within the city at the same time. There are currently about 1,260 billboards located within Marion County. The ordinance would allow the erection of as many as 80 digital billboards within Marion County over the next few years. There is no revenue sharing provided to the City of Indianapolis under the proposed Indianapolis ordinance. The billboard industry has asked the full council to send its proposal on the calendar for approval at tonight's council meeting back to committee for further debate after a groundswell of neighborhood opposition developed following committee approval.
Hat tip to fellow blogger Pat Andrews.