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Advertising ordinance back before council

Spectators might soon be seeing advertisements alongside events at local athletic fields.

A proposed ordinance that would allow advertising at the Red Wing Athletic Field, A.P. Anderson Park and fields at Red Wing High School and Twin Bluff Middle School is back before the Red Wing City Council.

The ordinance would allow temporary advertisements that are put up and taken down the day of an event and are attached to an existing structure such as a building, fence or scoreboard.

Allowing the advertising was proposed as a way to raise funds for maintaining the parks and fields, council members said. Potential revenue estimates vary, ranging from a few hundred dollars to five-figure amounts, Council member Mike Schultz said.

The money raised from advertising likely would go to the Joint Recreation Board and be distributed by that entity, but details such as restrictions on advertisements would be hammered out at a later date.

Planning Director Brian Peterson recommended the council move forward on the ordinance before drafting specific policies. Council President Ralph Rauterkus, however, took issue with that approach.

"Why would I want to pass an ordinance when I don't know how it's going to be used?" he said.

Rauterkus also said he worries about exposing youths to more advertising, as did Council member Lisa Bayley, who ultimately said she would reluctantly support the ordinance.

But Council member Dean Hove said the advertising is nothing new: Other cities have ads at their fields, he said, and Red Wing used to have them as well.

"I don't think I was hurt by any advertising at the athletic fields when I was a youngster," Hove said.

The ordinance simply allows the advertisements, but the schools would still be able to decide whether they want them put up. Specific policies for advertising on city properties would be determined at a later date.

Council voted 6-1 Monday to introduce the ordinance, with Rauterkus voting no. A second reading is necessary.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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