City Council aproves plan for ads at ballparksSeeing advertisements at local ballparks came a step closer to reality Monday when the City Council approved a signage policy.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Seeing advertisements at local ballparks came a step closer to reality Monday when the City Council approved a signage policy.
The council passed a set of rules and regulations for advertisements at fields at A.P. Anderson Park, Red Wing High School and Twin Bluff Middle School. The main Athletic Field has its own policy.
Last spring the council changed its zoning ordinance to allow ads at the ballparks in an attempt to bring in revenue for maintenance and improvements.
“We are very fortunate in Red Wing to have some of the nicest baseball and softball diamonds,” Council member Mike Schultz said, “(but) these fields are costing us a lot of money to maintain. … The feeling was that we need to be participants in the resolution of this.”
City staff, along with Dave Borgen from Community Recreation, developed the policies, deputy public works director Lynn Nardinger said. The fees and other pieces of the policy were based on practices at the Prairie Island Arena.
The move came despite protest by Council President Ralph Rauterkus, who expressed concerns about “bombarding” youth with more advertisements. Rauterkus voted against the plan Monday.
Council member Lisa Bayley also had some concerns.
“I’m lukewarm on it, but I can see the benefits of it,” she said.
But overall council members and Mayor Dennis Egan said the plan was a good way to bring in funds during times of tight budgets. Allowing the advertising also could help local businesses, they added.
According to the policy approved Monday, signs at the fields can be on the outfield fence, though not in the batter’s eye area. They will only be up from the start practice to the end of the season. No tobacco, liquor or other products “deemed inappropriate for youth” will be allowed on signs. Ads must be submitted to Community Recreation for approval.
The plan proposes a fee of $300 per field each year, with discounts for multiple fields or years.
Some council members worried about the visual effects of the advertisements at the fields, but Public Works Director Rick Moskwa said that shouldn’t be a problem, at least for now.
“There’s a significant amount of fence there,” he said. “I don‘t think we’ll have too much clutter.”
The Athletic Field, where the Aces play, has a separate policy. Ads here are limited to the grandstand areas and a portion of the scoreboard. A fee of $500 per sign per year was suggested, with discounts for multiple years.
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