Tuesday - December 5, 2017 7:17 pm

Wisconsin billboard industry pushes proposal to maintain non-conforming signs

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Outdoor advertising in Wisconsin is often done on signs that couldn't be built under current rules.

Companies that own these non-conforming signs could get a break from the state under a new proposal. It would broaden what could be done to those signs, such as allowing significant maintenance and upgrades, unlike current law.

Upgrades like changing to LED lighting.

The sign industry maintains LEDs only seem brighter. Small comfort, says La Crosse state rep. Jill Billings, speaking at a hearing in Madison on Tuesday.

"If you live in a house by a sign," Billings explained, "and you've been used to sleeping at night with your mind telling you the light is a certain way and then suddnely with LED lights your mind thinks it's brighter, that might be a problem."

A 45-year-old federal law restricts where along roadways billboards and other similar signs can be put up.

Critics of the proposal say its merely a way for billboard companies to maintain non-conforming signs along roadways forever.

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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