• $7.2 Million Lawsuit Filed In Easton PA Billboard Dispute

    The Morning Call is reporting that a subsidiary of Adams Outdoor has sued the City of Easton for $7.2 million in compensatory damages, alleging city officials failed to provide a suitable location for a digital billboard to be installed.

    To gain some perspective on the dispute, Insider published an article in April 2016, on a settlement that originated when the city allowed Adams Outdoor to put up a digital sign on city owned land but wrote rules in a way which forbade a competitor, Pennsylvania Media, to put up its own digital sign.  Under the settlement agreement Pennsylvania Media was given a 10 year rent free lease for a billboard on city owned property at its wastewater plant.  The foregone rent amounted to $400,000-$500,000.   Pennsylvania Media subsequently sold the billboard erection rights to Adams Outdoor.

    Back to present day  and it ends up that the I-78 location, originally provided by the city as part of the April 2016 settlement agreement, could not be permitted for a billboard because of federal regulations for billboards on interstate highways.    Since that site was unacceptable, Adams proposed an alternate site where the digital sign would have been located over the entrance to a Wells Fargo Bank facing Centre Square. The City Council ultimately rejected the location at a meeting held on June 27, 2017.   Apparently there were other sites proposed by the city but they were not viable as they failed to comply with PennDOT regulations. With no other alternatives presented to the agreement made by the city, Adams went ahead and filed the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit states that the city’s action in failing to accept the Centre Square site or offer a feasible alternative was “in bad faith, arbitrary and capricious.” Had the sign been allowed in Centre Square, it would have consisted of a single-faced, curved electronic LED digital billboard and would have brought in an estimated $7.2 million over the life of the lease agreement.

     


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    One Comment

    1. Robert Wozniak says:

      Adams Outdoor may very well have a claim with the city that needs to be addressed and the city should get it addressed in a timely manner. However, the idea of putting a billboard up in center square that changes every 8 seconds totally goes against what we Eastonians have been trying to do in Easton for more than 30 years. They need to find another location for their billboard or they and the developer who puts the billboard on his building are going to alienate much of our community. We have long memories and often call our buildings by names of businesses that were there 40 years ago. Putting up the first dynamic billboard in Easton right in the middle of our historic center square where the declaration of Independence was read in 1776 will not be good business for Adams or the developer because it will be seen as a blemish on our center square. We have enough blemishes already. There are other locations in the city that would not see our dismay and eventual protest. If Adams Outdoor doubts my observation all they need to do is ask around town.