By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The long-running battle over outdoor advertising on the old Electric Factory site at 7th and Callowhill Streets is returning to City Council.
The previous councilman for the First District, Frank DiCicco, tried several times, without success, to get an okay for a so-called ‘wall wrap’ advertisement on the Electric Factory building, which is visible from the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Now his successor, Mark Squilla, has introduced a bill to allow for an electronic sign on top of the building. He rejects criticism from anti-blight advocates that the signage would distract drivers.
“You could use any excuse possible. But these electronic signs are here to stay. There are going to be more and more of them as we move forward,” he explains.
Squilla says the owner has agreed to give one-fifth of the revenue from the billboard to three local schools.
Activist Jeff Horstein, who negotiated that deal, says with that promise, local parent-teacher organizations will support the signage.
“This is an interesting approach to raising revenue in the city without raising any new taxes,” Horstein explains.
The idea will be debated in Council’s Rules Committee on December 4th.