In July, the Tacoma City Council approved an agreement to replace existing billboards with digital billboards. Most people I know believe it is a done deal. It is not. It can be modified or even rejected completely by the City Council.
These double-sided lighted billboards will be 14 feet tall by 48 feet wide. Think a 50-foot semi trailer hanging 30 feet in the air with the image changing every eight seconds. The initial install is for 10 digitals to replace 53 old ones, plus Clear Channel would give up future sign permits. If the agreement is fulfilled as written, 38 of these digital billboards would replace the old ones.
When a Clear Channel representative was asked what financial effect the new billboards would have, he answered they did not know.
Clear Channel’s revenue for last year was $2.8 billion. It has installed more than 615 digital billboards, and it claims not to know what financial effect it will have? How dumb do we look? I for one do not think it is our City Council’s job to give a private company a financial windfall.
The next chance for input from the public is the Planning Commission’s next meeting at 5 p.m. March 16 in City Council chambers. Or contact your City Council representative.