Posted: Oct 12, 2012 5:51 PM by Caroline Flores - email@example.com
Updated: Oct 12, 2012 6:43 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - The city wants to charge the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority a fee for the advertisement signs they have on their bus benches that sit on city property. According to a city ordinance, if a person or business wants to put a sign on city property they have to buy a permit from the city first.
There are hundreds of RTA bus benches on sidewalks all across the city, most of them with advertising on them. But while most businesses have to pay a fee to have a sign on city property the RTA hasn't, at least not yet. That fee is a one time payment of about $149 per sign and the city now wants them to pay up.
"It seems like an issue that needs to be addressed. Once I looked at it, I'm now moving forward to attempt to address it," said Interm Director of Development Services Mark Van Vleck.
The city plans on charging the RTA discounted rate of $90 since they are a public entity.
RTA officials say this is the first time they are hearing about this, and they don't understand why the city is targeting them. They say they don't even own the benches, Cooper Advertising does.
When it comes to giving the city money for a permit, RTA officials say the city already receives one third of all their advertising profits. They say in the past two years alone they have paid the city $69,437.
"I saw that and I thought that's a nice win win because those are in the public domain, these benches are," said RTA Director of Marketing Jane Haas.
So if the city makes them pay the permit fee, a total of 758 bus benches could be affected. So for $90 per bench, they would have to pay the city $68,220.
RTA officials say if they fee is passed through city council, they will most likely pay for it through advertisement revenue. But they are hoping they can come to some sort of agreement before that becomes necessary.
They city plans to set up a meeting with RTA officials next week and hopes to have a recommendation for the city later this month.
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