Biloxi to decide timeframe for temporary business signs

Biloxi to decide timeframe for temporary business signs

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When residents take a drive through Biloxi, they will soon see signs on the side of the road waving in the wind. Those temporary signs are put out by local businesses meant to drum up shoppers, falling under a temporary sign ordinance. But city leaders are discussing whether to allow those signs to stay up or order them taken down.

Store owners say they rely on their permanent signs to reel in shoppers, but they also use temporary signs for promotions and advertising.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the city relaxed their ordinance on the temporary signs to help the economy get back to what it once was. The original ordinance gave store owners a fixed amount of time they could keep a temporary sign out. The relaxed version of the ordinance allows the temporary signs to stay up year-round.

Realtor Amanda Cumberland with Fidelis Real Estate said she understands the importance of the signs, but also believes businesses should maintain them.

"I would love to see everything in a perfect world where everything is great and brand new," said Cumberland. "But I also know that some businesses are struggling and that might be all they can afford. But at the same time, we want to make sure it's good and clean and upholds the values for the neighborhood, as well."

City Councilman Paul Tisdale said it's time for the signs to go since sales tax revenue is back to where it was pre-Katrina. He believes the signs look tacky. However, City Councilman Kenny Glavan thinks the signs should stay up as long as they are in good condition.

"I think it's our job as we recover, because we're still in recovery and we see signs of recovery, and its real exciting to see it," said Glavan. "But we're not all the way back, and so yes, I think this is a way that we can assist the businesses to be successful."

City leaders meet Tuesday and are expected to decide whether they'll continue moving forward with the current amended ordinance or revert back to the original one.

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