Are Hattiesburg signs going digital?

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "Video billboards have been wanting there way into town for quite a few years now," said Hattiesburg City Council President, Kim Bradley.

Hattiesburg has been slow to grasp the digital sign concept. With only a couple in town, the city thinks it time to embrace them, so before the city takes the digital leap they have rules to approve first.

"It is going to dictate the size of the boards, where the boards can be put, and what has to happen before those boards are put up. It has to be zoned properly. A certificate upon review for each of the boards to come before the planning commission," said Bradley.

One rule to the new boards is a two for one deal. One local business owner, Harold Munn of Munn Enterprises says this would be like losing advertisement.

"Taking down two boards for every one that you put up. That is good for some of the billboard companies, or ok for some of the billboard companies. For us and a couple of other small companies we don't have two boards with in the city limits. We would lose those two to get one digital," said Munn

Another rule of the ordinance is the spacing. The current ordinance says one digital billboard can not be with 5,000 feet of another.

"That limits the competition. That's pretty much knocks all us smaller billboard operators out of being able to put digital billboards in Hattiesburg, because as you know there is a existing two or three that is already in the city limits. That means around them there won't be anymore to put up," said Munn.

This restriction also concerns Bradley.

"I have some question about that because that is one mile. You are talking both sides of the road. If you have them lined up a 1,000 or 2,000 feet a part up the road well that's fine. But if you are going to say a 5,000 foot radius then that covers both sides of the road. I think that needs to be tweaked and needs to be discussed a little bit more before it is adopted."

During Tuesday nights city council meeting Bradley and the rest of the council did not approve or deny the billboards. The issue was tabled.

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