Biloxi taking a hard look at bench advertising deal

Biloxi taking a hard look at bench advertising deal
(Photo Source: File)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi officials plan to review a 30-year-old agreement with a bench advertising company.

There are more than 80 benches around Biloxi owned by a company called Coast Bench Advertising. City leaders think financial terms need to be updated and the benches should be better maintained.

The company sells advertising on the benches based on a 30-year-old franchise agreement with Biloxi.

A study will be conducted to consider the financial arrangement. Officials will also take look at whether or not the benches are outdated.

"We've got a lot of things happening on our front beach with new hotels. We have new businesses coming in downtown. Do we want to have these benches everywhere? It's proliferated, unchecked over the last 30 years," said Biloxi Spokesman Vincent Creel.

Right now, Biloxi receives $3 per bench. Biloxi is looking at raising that to $4.55, a 60% increase.

Owners of Coast Bench Advertising told WLOX News they are willing to agree to that increase.

Since many of the benches are in bad condition, the new agreement will work to demand the company repair or replace them, as well as reconsider placement.

Creel stated, "There is part of the franchise agreement, although outdated that says these benches need to be maintained and they are supposed to be in a certain location. There will be an inventory done on where they are and what kind of condition they are in."

There is also concern about how close the benches are to sidewalks, which can create issues for pedestrians and may even be in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Ocean Springs is the only other city on the coast where the company sells advertising on benches. There are ten in Ocean Springs. The city does not receive any money from Coast Bench Advertising.

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