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Willow Park

Council approves billboard contract


Now, whether going east or west, whatever message is posted on the billboard near Willow Park City Hall, you can be sure it has the city’s seal of approval.

That’s because it came from the city, which now has control over both sides of the billboard.

Following up on previous action in which they leased the eastbound side of the billboard, at its meeting on Feb. 13 city council approved leasing the westbound side as well after Lamar Advertising Company informed them the prior occupants were not going to renew their lease. It was originally believed the lease on the eastbound side would be extended by the now former client, but when that changed the council capitalized on that opportunity as well in a previous decision.

The billboard is located on the southeast corner of City Hall, which is at 120 El Chico Tr.

Just as with the eastbound side, the city will use hotel occupancy tax to pay for the one-year rental. Cost to rent per side is $31,680 on an annual basis, billed in four 13-week installments, including the initial cost of $480 for artwork and any changes by the city thereafter.

Having the lease on both sides of the billboard prevents the possibility of someone posting a message on the other side that might be controversial and perceived to be supported by the city.

“I’m very much in favor of controlling messages on both sides of that board,” said Place 1 Council Member Eric Contreras.

The project came to be after Mayor Pro Tem Lea Young proposed to the council and city staff that they find ways in which the city’s HOT could practically and legally be put to good use.

In a November meeting, City Attorney Pat Chesser reminded the council if HOT is used for the billboard it has to be to promote tourism.

At that same meeting, City Manager Bryan Grimes noted that the HOT fund was approaching a half million dollars and is growing at a rate of more than $20,000 monthly.

The first sign from the city was installed on the eastbound side on Jan. 30. It features a City of Willow Park tourism message, and city officials have noted response has been extremely favorable.

 “It’s exciting for us to have motorists see our city displayed on a billboard as they drive through Willow Park,” said Director of Planning and Development Toni Fisher. “It’s a way for them to easily identify where we are and encourage them to learn more about all the things Willow Park has to offer.”


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