The Carson City Parks & Recreation Department could allow advertising on a new Carson City Community Center sign to get the sign built for free.
Several sign companies have offered to build a new electronic reader board for free, said Parks Director Roger Moellendorf. The companies said they would build it in exchange for permission to sell advertising on the sign, he said.
The community center's current sign is not electronic. The new sign would probably cost between $10,000 and $100,000, depending on the quality of the sign.
"It can be quite expensive," he said.
But the parks department, which operates the community center, would have to ask the board of supervisors to change city code to allow this advertising. The community center is not zoned to allow sign advertisements for services not at the community center. Only general commercial and industrial properties can have billboard advertising.
Planning Division Director Lee Plemel said the city developed the billboard ordinance in the mid-1980s when the number of billboards in the city started to grow.
The ordinance allows some billboards but eliminates older billboards, he said.
Moellendorf said the parks department would be careful if it asked the board of supervisors to change the code.
"Obviously the ordinance was developed for a reason, to prevent the proliferation of billboards all over the city," he said.
Plemel said the city code could probably be amended to allow the sign.
The best way to amend the code would be to give the community center a specific exemption, Plemel said. That's what the city did with a billboard on Highway 50 West.
Under city code, billboard signs can be up to 28 feet tall and 400 square feet.