Billboard is a sign of heated battle - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Billboard is a sign of heated battle

West 25th and Franklin, Cleveland West 25th and Franklin, Cleveland
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  • Billboard battle in Ohio City

    Billboard battle in Ohio City

    There is a billboard battle underway in Ohio City. Crews contracted by Clear Channel, the billboard owners, showed up at West 25th and Franklin to start work on the billboard, that is in obvious needMore >>
    There is a billboard battle underway in Ohio City. Crews contracted by Clear Channel, the billboard owners, showed up at West 25th and Franklin to start work on the billboard that is in obvious need of repair.More >>

To Maria Keckan and Neil McCormick the billboard at the corner of W. 25th and Franklin might as well be named the leaning tower of Clear Channel. 

"That thing leans 4%, and that's as much as the leaning tower of Pisa. It's leaning. This is built in the sand, not marble," says property owner Neil McCormick.

Maria Keckan and Neil McCormick say when they purchased the property, they knew it came with a perpetual lease.  They receive no money for the billboard.  Keckan said she did some research and found that there is legislation that says over time billboards like the one Clear Channel Outdoor owns will come down over time as they get older and more tattered.

Keckan and McCormick say that in the close to seven years they've owned their property the billboard has become more and more tattered, and even has a gas line right behind it that they worry could explode if the structure falls on it.

McCormick says his hand can fit right through one of the steel beams.

Clear Channel says they want to repair the billboard, but have been court ordered not to right now.  

Keckan and McCormick disagree with the way Clear Channel says they will repair the billboard.  They say Clear Channel needs to completely rebuild the foundation of the billboard. 

"If it's repaired the way Clear Channel wants it to be repaired, it has a very good likelihood of killing someone," says Keckan.

McCormick goes on to say, "You wouldn't build a house and have a wall four percent leaning. No one would accept that. So who would repair a billboard and not fix the foundation. Their plan is half baked."

Clear Channel's Division President Bill Platko released this statement:

"As head of Clear Channel Outdoor-Cleveland, safety is a top priority. Clear Channel Outdoor acted legally and in a timely fashion to secure the proper repair permits from the City. It is our preference to work collaboratively with all lessors and it is our hope that we will be allowed to overcome the unlawful interference that has prevented us from completing the maintenance we initiated."—Bill Platko, Division President, Clear Channel Outdoor-Cleveland.

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved. 

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