Geist residents, state senator want billboard taken down

GEIST, Ind. (WISH) – Geist residents are upset over a 40-foot tall billboard near 79th Street and Fall Creek Road.

The billboard is located next to the CVS on 79th Street. A citizens group has filed a petition with the city in order to attempt to have the structure taken down. A special hearing has been set for April 1st.

The billboard was built in January to the surprise of homeowners and business owners in the area.

“I was astonished at seeing it because I live up the street. Coming down to work I said, ‘man that thing went up in two days. It wasn’t there and then it was there,’” said Tim Queisser, who lives nearby.

Queisser says the giant metal structure is an eyesore and unwanted by the community. He is part of a committee petitioning to have the billboard removed.

“We have over 1,500 petitioners signed on this and we will see what we can do” Queisser said.

The group is receiving help from State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), who represents the area. Merritt wrote a letter to the Connecticut company that owns the land where the billboard is located. Merritt asked the company to take down the billboard.

“It’s all legal, probably a fine company. I was just asking for the good of the community for it to be taken down,” Merritt said.

The new billboard may be the only billboard in Indianapolis with its own Facebook page.

“Boycott the Billboard at 79th and Fall Creek” had more than 1,200 likes by Tuesday afternoon.

The company that owns the billboard has no intention of taking it down.

“(It’s) perfectly legal zoned C3. We’ve got everything they require of us. Crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s. Everything is great,” said spokesman Bo Hagood.

Billboard owner Jeff Lee told 24-Hour News 8 he is more than happy to work with residents and businesses when it comes to the operation of the billboard, lighting and content. However, no one has taken him up on the offer.

Advertisers anxious to take advantage of the location have already been booked.

“It’s an opportunity for small business operators to advertise when they can’t be on television or anywhere else or the newspaper. It gives them a chance to talk about their business a little bit,” Hagood said.

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