By Sara Brown
Clear Channel is seeking to change their current billboard over the Lee Burbank Highway into a two-sided 14 ft. by 48 ft. digital billboard.
John Pelrine, Clear Channel representative, met with the council at last week’s regular meeting at city hall.
Pelrine proposed providing Revere 10 hours a month for community advertising on the billboard, including a payment of $20,000 ($10,000 per side) for 25 years as part of the agreement.
Councillor Anthony Zambuto asked if they would be willing to make $5,000 donation to the sand castle festival like other billboards have. Pelrine said Clear Channel would be interested.
Most of the councillors remained hush on the subject; however, Ron Champoux of the Revere Beautification Committee voiced is disapproval.
“Revere residents deserve more than this constant eye sore,” he said to the council.
Champoux worries that this change will make other billboard owners want to change to digital.
“When we opposed the Van Wagner change, we told you it would open up a flood gate for regular billboards to change to digital billboards. Lo and behold, here we go. We have four digital billboards now and two more in the pipeline,” he said.
With respect to the $20,000 payments to the city, Champoux cited a Boston Globe story where the state is receiving $95,000 per year per billboard – and that in other states – even more.
“We have to send a strong message that billboards are not wanted in Revere,” he added. “We strongly oppose the change.”
Ward Five Councillor John Powers asked Pelrine if Clear Channel was working on plans to reduce the number of billboards in the city. Pelrine stated there wasn’t as far as he knew. Pelrine said that he was in charge of all the leases for the billboards and there haven’t been any plans of that kind brought to his attention.
The billboard will be discussed at length at the next zoning subcommittee in August.