City’s billboard to come down in 2022

The city of Payette has had a billboard in place on Northwest 16th Street in Fruitland since January, visible to eastbound traffic. The Payette City Council voted to fund the billboard in late 2020, as a means of drawing attention from people moving to the Western Treasure Valley. At its regular meeting Monday, the council voted to take it down.

PAYETTE — In late 2020, the Payette City Council voted to approve the use of a billboard on one-year trial basis, to help the city capture more of the recent growth in the Western Treasure Valley. At its regular meeting on Monday, however, the council determined it hasn’t done its job.

On the agenda for this meeting was a renewal of the annual contract for the billboard, furnished by Meadow Outdoor Advertising.

“We did not sign up for multi-year, we did say that we would get back to the council and decide if they want to continue with this,” said Mayor Jeff Williams, noting that no official data on its influence on people moving to the Western Treasure Valley. He did say he received positive comments about the billboard.

“Mostly from Fruitland people, saying ‘Why’d you do this?” Williams noted.

However, city councilors have not heard such comments; As noted by Councilor Craig Jensen, the billboard is actually disliked by some Payette residents.

“I heard one comment from a person from Payette; They said, ‘Who are you trying to kid? Fruitland’s growing a lot better than you, Payette! That’s what the comment was,’” said Jensen.

In his remarks, Councilor Daniel Lopez noted that even with a discounted rate, the city still would pay $8,000 per year to keep it up.

“It is a nice sign, just that $8,000 a year is money that we could put somewhere else,” said Lopez.

As noted by Lopez, the billboard is paid for through economic development monies.

Councilor Mike Kee moved to not renew the billboard’s contract into 2022, seconded by Councilor Lori Steiniker. The vote to approve the move was unanimous, 6-0. The billboard remains standing for now, as its present contract expires in January.

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