New city council, old problem: Billboards

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The new Rapid City Council won't have to wait much longer till their first major decision, after being sworn in on July 3.

At that meeting, the council will be given the job to decide the fate of a settlement agreement between Rapid City and Epic Outdoor advertising.

In the settlement, the city is agreeing to change their current ordinance and allow an increase in the size and height of billboards along the interstate.

But a group of business and tourism leaders say there has been a long time effort to keep billboards in check.

Debra Jensen the Secretary of Scenic Rapid City says,"The issues of billboards has been going on since the days of Lady Bird Johnson and the Beautification Act, which is in the 1960's...and South Dakota has always been apart of that."

"In 2011 of course we had the 2 citizens' initiatives that demonstrated that 2 out of 3 people who voted, want fewer not more signs...and certainly not larger signs. This proposed settlement offer goes contrary to both of those initiatives, contrary to the comprehensive city plan, and contrary to existing city ordinances", said Andrew Ainslie with Scenic Rapid City.

The city and Outdoor Epic Advertising plan to address the issue and come to an agreement in the next meeting.