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By Mike Dunn
– City Council signed off on a bill allowing a digital billboard on the side of the old Electric Factory building at 7th and Callowhill Streets; opponents were livid.

By a 16-1 vote, City Council approved allowing the owner of the Electric Factory building to put a seven-story digital billboard, not far from the Vine Street Expressway.

The owner has promised to donate one-fifth of the revenue to three local school associations and that promise paved the way for Council passage.

One opponent, Rosanne Loesch of the Society Hill Civic Association, blasted first district councilman Mark Squilla, who represents the area.

“I am astonished that councilman Squilla is prepared to ignore the widespread community opposition in his own district to this bill,” said Loesch.

Squilla begged to differ.

“To come here and state that the community is not in favor of this is an out-and-out lie,” said Squilla.

The mayor opposes the sign and would be expected to veto the bill. Aides to the mayor say a billboard would be inappropriate at that location, and that its placement could jeopardize millions of dollars in federal highway funding.

But Council’s 16 votes for passage would be enough to override the likely veto.

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