Billboards illuminate concerns of town manager

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Town Manager Michael Borg. File photo
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An advertisement company was given the green light to build an electronic billboard in North Attleborough and it’s putting Town Manager Michael Borg concern’s into the spotlight.

The Office of Outdoor Advertising voted on March 23 to approve Vivid Outdoor LLC’s application to build an electronic billboard on 119 John Dietsch Square. The billboard will sit adjacent to Interstate 95 and face north and south. Some of the revenue generated from the billboard will go to the town via a Community Host Agreement.

Borg said he was not against the billboard’s construction but expressed worry regarding its bright lights affecting the visibility of drivers.

“My biggest concern is the illumination of the lights,” Borg said. “People might have trouble driving with the bright lights on the highway.”

Borg added that the lights could generate complaints from those living near or around the area.  He has held meetings with representatives of Vivid Outdoor on creating a hotline for potential complaints

“We have the same thing with our waste management,” Borg explained. “When an area smells and they get complaints, they have a responsibility to address those concerns. I am looking for the same type of agreement with the billboard companies.””

A second billboard company, Interstate IIH Outdoor LLC, applied to build their own sign across 192 Plain St. Neither company could be reached for comment.

Borg said he has held conversations with the second company too and received another community contract.

The town manager acknowledged the benefits the billboards could bring such as additional revenue for the town and free community advertising. He said, however, that his main priority is the concerns of the residents of North Attleborough.

“There is a revenue aspect to this, but it’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s about addressing the concerns of our community.  I want to have a process.”