For the second time in a year, City Council has passed a bill to allow a large and controversial digital billboard to be installed on the Electric Factory building at Seventh and Callowhill Streets.
Mayor Nutter vetoed a bill passed last December that would have permitted the billboard by creating a digital advertising district in the neighborhood. The bill Council passed Thursday permits only a billboard on the Electric Factory building, but it includes an agreement to funnel 20 percent of the revenue - as much as $500,000 a year - to three area elementary schools and a community group.
The first Electric Factory "wall wrap" advertisement went up 12 years ago, launching a legal fight with neighborhood groups and activists that lasted through 2009. Many of the same opponents spoke out against attempts to legalize the billboard last year and again this month. But, with the latest bill, parent groups also flooded into Council to champion the billboard agreement as a novel approach for funding struggling schools. It is unclear if Nutter plans to veto the current iteration. - Troy Graham