Student senate reps present billboard proposal to council

Eastern’s student senate representative presented the City Council with the proposed measure to install eight electronic billboards on Eastern’s campus at Tuesday’s meeting.

Blair Jones, a junior accounting major, said Eastern will sign a five year contract to display the proposed electronic billboards.

Roughly the size of a poster board, the billboards will display national advertisements two-thirds of the time, and Eastern will have control of the remaining displayed content, she said.

Jones said the top 25 percent of the billboard will belong to the University, displaying the time, day and Eastern’s logo at all times.

If an emergency ever occurred, Eastern would get access to the boards 100 percent of the time.

Jones said according to an online survey, 80 percent of Eastern students were in favor of the display boards; 90 percent said it was an effective way to advertise campus events; 80 percent said they would approve the appeal of campus; and 95 percent said it would be an effective way to advertise community warnings.

Jones said she is in favor of execution of the electronic billboards.

“I think it’s a good idea to take some advertisements and get the boards for free,” Jones said. “It’s still good to use them to advertise campus events.”

Jones said the money raised through these billboards will be enough to pay at least one student intern to do the graphics for the billboard.

Council member Larry Rennels addressed concerns over whether the billboards would be changing rapidly.

Jones said the advertisements would change between every 45 seconds and a minute and the boards would be on for 16 to 18 hours every day.

Jones said other universities such as Northern Illinois University, Murray State and Washington University in St. Louis also display the proposed electronic billboards.

Jones said the student senate will give their support for the billboards at today’s meeting.

She said the university hopes to have the boards implemented some time next semester.

The council approved to place a resolution for amending building regulations of the Charleston City Code on file for public inspection.

Mayor John Inyart said the council and city planner Steve Pamprin have been working through changes trying to find what best fits Charleston.

Pamprin said Charleston is currently operating under 2003 building codes.

The council proposes to update to the one and two family residential homes to 2006 codes.

Pamprin said this measure is primarily the reason for updating the codes for the health and safety of the community.

“We’re implementing the new codes to keep up with the new rules and regulations to hopefully make things safer,” he said. “Engineers didn’t know things in 2003 that they know now.”

Pamprin also said by updating the codes, it will help keep Charleston homeowners’ insurance costs down by maintaining the city’s good ISO rating.

The council also approved a resolution to execute engineering service contract with ESI Consulting, Ltd. for stairwell construction supervision.

Inyart said this contract will allow structural engineers to oversee digging and framing of the stairwells located on the Downtown Square.

He said he thought the measure was needed.

“Those concrete stairwells against 100 year old buildings definitely need a little supervision there,” he said.

The engineers’ contract is set to not exceed $1,500.

The council also approved construction supervision, staking and project supervision with Consolidated Services for the rest of the project.

The total cost of the contract for sidewalk work and street milling is set to not exceed $15,000.

The council approved an ordinance to prohibit parking on the north side of Harrison Avenue.

He said the city has restriped the line that would allow Harrison Avenue to comply with the standard type of road for passing vehicles.

Inyart said this measure will prohibit parking from the corner at 15th Street, which will allow larger vehicles, such as school buses, to use extra space to pass through on the street.

Inyart said he thought this would be a nice compromise with residents’ requests.

“This has been an ongoing project to make Harrison Avenue work for everyone,” Inyart said.

Ordinances and resolutions approved:

• Prohibition of low speed vehicles

• Approving a resolution to supplement funding for resurfacing Decker Springs Road

• Trick or treat hours approved by Inyart as 5 to 8 p.m. on Halloween

• Approving change order for select exterior demolition on 513 Seventh St.

• No parking on Tyler Avenue

Sara Hall can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]