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King Proposes Ordinance to Regulate Concrete Ad Benches

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King, D-10, has sponsored an ordinance to regulate concrete ad benches that have sprouted up on major thoroughfares across the city.The advertisements are often placed on a corner or near the sidewalk without approval from Metro Government. Several city lawmakers have complained the benches are placed with no regard for public safety and intrude into public right-of-ways.Councilman Robin Engel, R-22, is a co-sponsor of the measure. He says the ads are a nuisance paid for by mostly out of town companies."If you do take a moment and really focus in your particular area where you live and where you drive, these benches are popping up everywhere. And they're really a pollution quite honestly," he says.The ordinance requires anyone placing a bench to provide public works with detailed information about their company. Businesses must also follow a specific set of requirements for the size and design of the bench. King's bill would institute a $50 fee for each bench and the permits must be renewed annually.If a bench is found not to be permitted the city will immediately remove it. The law calls for a $10 fee for impoundment and $8 for storage per day. If the owners do not comply, the benches are discarded."They are absolutely an eyesore and that's a big part of this. Now the safety piece to it is in some of our business districts where we actually have benches that are intruding into the right-of-way. We've got our wheelchair accessible folks that need to get around and these things are popping up inside those right-of-ways and that's a real concern for us," he says.The Public Works, Bridges and Transportation Committee passed the ordinance last week and it goes before the full council on Thursday. Council members Rick Blackwell, D-12, and Bob Henderson, D-14, have also co-sponsored the measure. 

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