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Digital billboard to generate $4.4 million for Roseville

City Council approves contract with Clear Channel Outdoor
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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The Roseville City Council has approved a contract for a digital billboard with Clear Channel Outdoor that will guarantee $4.4 million for the city’s general fund over 25 years.

The city currently doesn’t get any revenue from the existing traditional billboard that this digital billboard will replace. The digital sign will operate on city-owned land along Interstate 80, and illustrates Roseville’s continued efforts to generate new, long-term revenue streams. The sign could be operational before the end of this year.

The City Council voted 4-1 to approve the contract at the Sept. 11 meeting. Councilwoman Pauline Roccucci cast the dissenting vote.

“When (City Manager) Ray Kerridge first brought up the idea of the digital billboard to me, I was not really thrilled with the idea,” said Councilman Tim Herman. “Then I started to really look at them a little more closely and realized not only are they more efficient and we can generate some revenue from them; they’re also better looking, in my opinion.”

Proponents say the signs will also create more opportunities for local businesses to advertise and community messaging to occur.

Each message on the digital billboard will remain static for a minimum of eight seconds, and there cannot be flashing or moving lights. The sign will have a light-sensing device to continually adjust sign brightness based on ambient lighting conditions. If the sign malfunctions, it freezes or goes to a black screen.

Roccucci said she voted no because of the location of the sign. The billboard will be constructed in a landscape island in the parking lot of Golfland-Sunsplash on Taylor Road. Roccucci thinks the sign will be too distracting to vehicle drivers in that area.

“My biggest concern all along was literally where the sign is,” she said.

There are five existing static billboards along I-80 in Roseville, and because the city’s sign ordinance prohibits new billboards, Clear Channel Outdoor will remove the existing static billboard about 70 feet east of the site of the digital sign’s location.

The City Council unanimously approved amending the ordinance in November 2011 to allow for the possibility of moving to digital signs.

As part of Roseville’s agreement with Clear Channel, no auto malls or car dealerships outside city limits will be allowed to advertise on the sign. The Roseville Automall had expressed concern that any competing auto-related advertising on the billboard would impact their sales.

Clear Channel Outdoor will next submit its structural plans to the city and then to Caltrans for permits required under the Outdoor Advertising Act.