Plug Pulled on Possible Electronic Billboard on West Street, Near Route 93
Local opposition reportedly sends Clear Channel away.
The plug has been pulled on a possible electronic billboard on West Street, adjacent to Route 93.
Given opposition to the sign, Clear Channel is no longer interested in that site, at the Mobile gas station, Board of Selectmen Chairman Stephen Goldy told Town Meeting Monday.
Goldy said Clear Channel is no longer interested in the site after what he described as a “scare campaign” that included “misinformation” about the proposed zoning change and billboard that "pitted neighbor against neighbor."
The sign might have brought the town between $25,000 and $50,000 a year in a “host” fee, a source of revenue proposed two years ago, according to the background to the warrant article, at a town Financial Forum comprised of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Finance Committee and Board of Library Trustees.
Area residents told the Board of Selectmen last Tuesday that said they expected their property values would fall if the sign was erected; derided the amount of potential revenue the town might have received from the billboard; and criticized what they said was a lack of notification about the proposed zoning change.
After the Outdoor Advertising Board agreed to allow electronic billboards along state highways this fall, an article appeared on the warrant for Monday’s special Town Meeting, calling for zoning to be amended at the Mobil station to allow an electronic billboard. A regular billboard would be allowed there now with a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The warrant article that would have allowed the zoning change was indefinitely postponed.
Goldy told Patch after Monday's meeting that he and Selectman James Bonazoli met with, but did not negotiate with Clear Channel after the Financial Forum, to "carry forward" the revenue initiative.