CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Drive into Cape Coral through one of the toll bridges, and you're not going to see any billboards.
But one company is hoping to change that. Lamar Advertising wants to bring four billboards to the city. But there's a problem. The city currently does not allow them.
Ron Bieber often takes walks in the park near the Midpoint Bridge. He's not too happy about the idea of a billboard nearby. "I wouldn't appreciate that," Bieber said.
Lamar Advertising wants to place an electronic billboard near the Midpoint Bridge, in between the fire station and the bingo hall, and another at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge, by the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce.
The billboards would be used for advertising and public safety announcements. Lamar is also offering the city two smaller billboards, free of charge, to be used however the city wants.
"I don't know if a billboard would bother me that much, some of the electronic ones are very nice," said resident Gary Cox.
WINK News found out, billboards could end up costing the city a lot of money, if it suddenly decided it didn't want the billboards anymore.
According to city documents:
"At 15,000 dollars per month over a service life of 50 years.... a municipality seeking to remove a DEMC could expect to compensate the DEMC owner as much as $9,000,000.(i.e. Removal of the DEMC at or near the beginning of its life)."
The discussion comes on the heels of a new sign ordinance that bans sign wavers and limits the signs a business can display.
"These poor fellows who tried to make a living carrying a sign around are no more. Now this company comes in and wants to put in a big billboard. For what. Who needs it?" asked resident Arlene Benko.
If city council accepted Lamar's proposal, it would be the first time the city specifically allowed billboards in the city.
The city council is talking about this Monday night and then will decide what to do next. Currently there are only two billboards in a recently annexed part of the city.