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Whitnall Wants 'OK' to Erect Interstate Billboard

The billboard would generate at least $72,000 a year, but needs a sign code waiver from the City of Greenfield before it can be installed.

The has an opportunity to raise at least $72,000 a year by letting a local advertising company install a billboard near the interstate.

Now the district just needs the city to allow them to erect it.

The city has called a special Plan Commission Meeting for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, for the sole intent of discussing the district’s proposed 70-foot-high electronic billboard that would be erected at the north end of the campus adjacent to Interstate 43.

The billboard would require a sign waiver, because five elements of the proposal do not meet the city’s sign code:

  • Billboards are not allowed;
  • “off-premises” advertising is not allowed;
  • the square footage of the reader board exceeds city limits;
  • the billboard will have multi-color features;
  • and the overall sign size exceeds city limits.

The Plan Commission is expected, however, , a favorable recommendation to waive the city’s sign code.

In recent years, the city has waived the sign code to allow Clear Channel Outdoor to erect a similar billboard to the one proposed by the district at the Division of Public Works yard. Most recently, the city changed the definition of "public signs," .

On Monday, April 23, the Whitnall School Board voted unanimously to award the contract for the sign to Clear Channel Outdoor. The specific terms of the contract, however, will be presented to the Board at a later date.

“We need to select a vendor so we can get moving on talking about the language in the lease,” Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Matt Karshna said. “And also getting a vendor on board who will do some construction documents so the planning commission can look at that permit (is important)."

The selecting of a vendor without having specific terms of the contract defined was of concern to some Board members.

“It’s kind of hard to separate the two, the rewarding of an agreement yet to be determined with a vendor because if there are legal terms we can’t agree to, then where are we?” asked Board member Bernard Shaw.

Clear Channel Outdoor representative Mark Rausch said the district would not be obligated to his company if agreeable contract terms are not met.

“The city is requesting specific information from us for the Plan Commission meeting,” Rausch said. “We’re stuck in this chicken or the egg situation. We already have incurred some costs to provide information to the city based … we assumed, rightly or wrongly there was a good chance the Board would approve us as the vendor.”

Karshna said he has received no email, telephone or in-person complaints from people against the erection of the billboard.

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