Fighting blight: ridding the city of derelict signs and dilapida - KMOV.com

Fighting blight: ridding the city of derelict signs and dilapidated billboards

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- More than a dozen empty, derelict signs dot the sides of St. Louis city streets.

Sign owners are breaking city law by allowing these billboards to hand with old, tattered advertisements, or the boards have no ads at all.

The alderman for the 21st ward in North St. Louis tells News 4 that he wants to do something about it.  Antonio French plans to put positive messages from non-profits in place of the vacant boards.

"This may seem like a small thing, but this is just one battle in our larger war on apathy," Alderman French says.  "The last thing we want is for people just to accept how certain things look in the neighborhood and that's just the way it is.  We don't accept that.  We want to change and improve the quality of life, starting with the way our neighborhood looks."

The majority of the signs belong to a company called Gateway.  Most are visible along major city streets, like Natural Bridge.

Alderman French is also the man behind the idea of security cameras for crime-ridden neighborhoods.  He's hosting a town hall meeting this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Julia Davis Library.

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