Electric signs

Artist's rendering added to a Google Maps depiction of a digital message board, facing east along the I-10 freeway off West Livingston Street.

An 80-foot tall, double-faced digital billboard will soon soar above a privately owned vacant lot in Banning’s downtown commercial area along the Interstate 10 freeway at 583 W. Livingston St.

Alex Garcia of Corona-based AMG Signs Company, Inc. was at the Feb. 11 city council meeting to address concerns by residents who wanted to know about the content that the sign will generate, and which city logo would be applied when city messages are broadcast on the digital marquee.

“We’re not in the business to put up risqué ads,” he assured, explaining that promotions for hotels, casinos and car dealerships were higher priorities.

“We take time to sift through everything we post on the sign,” he said, and cautioned that he would prefer not having to delay his project over the city’s necessity to determine an appropriate city logo.

Community Development Director Adam Rush told council that the agreement with AMG Signs allows the city to promote official city and city partner programs and events, and that AMG would broadcast such public service announcements free of charge, as long as those messages were supportive of the city.

The city’s general fund will collect an annual $50,000 user fee from AMG Signs as part of the agreement.

The project will be enclosed within a 6-foot tall decorative block wall (installed with anti-graffiti coating) on the .13-acre lot not too far from IHOP and the HELP, Inc. food pantry.

He also said that such messages would not require a city logo to accompany them.

City Attorney Kevin Ennis reiterated that the city would not allow the messaging board to display ads for adult entertainment, alcohol or tobacco products.

Mayor Daniela Andrade said, “This has been a long time coming. It’s been discussed over several meetings, and I’m personally very excited to have this sign bring positive attention to the city.”

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at dheiss@recordgazette.net , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at dheiss@recordgazette.net , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

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