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Park Board Says Ball's in City's Court on Billboards

The two governmental entities cannot reach an agreement regarding three billboards the city of Joliet wants to place on Joliet Park District property.

It has been more than a year since the city of Joliet approached the Joliet Park District about placing three electronic billboards on three park district property sites, but the issue remains unresolved.

On Monday night, Joliet Park District commissioners and staff decided the next move will have to be a proposal from the city before the issue can move forward.

The two entities cannot come to an agreement about the billboards, two of which are slated for Joliet Municipal Airport land off Jefferson Street and one at the Wedgewood Golf Course at Route 59 and Caton Farm Road.

Park board Commissioner Glen Marcum said he was not a fan of the proposal.

"I really don't see a benefit for us," he said.

District Executive Director Dominic Egizio added that the billboards would mean additional work for district staff.

"It's going to put an extra burden on (the public relations) department because they're going to police it," he said.

At the heart of the disagreement is the exclusivity rights the park district has with the business that sponsor events. For example, as part of its sponsorship by Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, the district cannot have another hospital appear on the billboard if it is on park district property. The owner of the billboard, though, is not bound by the same agreement and could sign a contract with a competing hospital, putting the district in a difficult position.

"We're going to let (the city) bring a proposal back to us at this point," Egizio said.

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jolietkenny September 27, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Most towns fight to keep billboards out of their town, but not good old Joliet's "sell our souls to the highest bidder" City Council. Hang in there Park District, tell the City to take a hike!

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