Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg to consider allowing businesses to put their names at medians — for a price

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council will again consider allowing businesses to "sponsor" medians, providing a way for companies to literally take their names to the street while allowing the city to offset maintenance costs.

The idea is to have companies or even neighborhood associations pay $3,500 to have their name on signs planted in high-visibility medians for three years. The money would go toward maintenance costs at those medians. City workers would still be doing the work.

"It's not going to solve all our revenue problems but it will help," said Phil Whitehouse, the city's parks and recreation superintendent.

Whitehouse and his staff will present their plan to City Council on June 5.

Council Chairman Bill Dudley tried to establish a similar program a couple of years ago but was not able to win enough support from other members because of concerns about allowing more signs in the city.

"Times have changed," Dudley said. "We're looking for some help to defray the cost of maintenance. . . . Our parks department is overwhelmed."

The City Beautiful Commission recently wrote a letter in support, Dudley said. And during a meeting last week, council member Karl Nurse said he thought the program would "improve the look of our city."

The city has installed more medians in recent years, Whitehouse said, but the money to maintain them has not always been part of project money.

Dudley said he got the idea from the city of Largo, which has had its median sponsorship program for roughly a dozen years.

Largo's parks superintendent, Greg Brown, said it costs his city about $45,000 a year to maintain and beautify the medians.

The sponsorships now pay for a third of that, he said, even though only 40 percent of the available spots for signs are being used.

Brown said Largo works with the state to put up the 18- by 24-inch signs. Companies big and small pay between $250 to $1,000 a year for them with a three-year minimum commitment.

Many like their signs to go at medians closest to their businesses, Brown said.

"Some spots you get 50,000 cars going by a day," Brown said. "That's pretty good exposure."

As of now, St. Petersburg doesn't plan to have a sliding scale. It also doesn't intend to have signs at every median.

City staff would try to make sure the spots chosen would be worthwhile to sponsors, Whitehouse said.

"They will be visible and be a marketing benefit for businesses," he said.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at

St. Petersburg to consider allowing businesses to put their names at medians — for a price 05/08/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A second mistrial: Jury deadlocks in Ohio cop's murder retrial


    CINCINNATI — A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on charges in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist.

    Former University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing, left, and his attorney Stew Mathews listen as Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz tells the jury to continue deliberations after the jury said they are deadlocked during Tensing's trial on Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  2. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois


    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  3. What to watch this weekend: 'GLOW,' second season of 'Preacher'


    Ready to rumble: GLOW

    Four words: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Yes, the fluorescent, body-slamming soap opera GLOW starring a cast of exaggerated characters is back, this time as a fictionalized Netflix series. Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) stars as Ruth, a down-on-her-luck actor …

    Alison Brie, left, and Betty Gilpin in GLOW on Netflix.
  4. Exploratory Lab Boot Camp provides real-life technology training to students


    CLEARWATER — At this graduation ceremony featuring some of the brightest local minds in tech, it was the youngsters who stood out.

    Laszlo Leedy, 17, a senior at Shorecrest Prep, presents part of his team's project for SPC's Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. Students presented their ideas at the end of the SPC Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. The program provides real-time business training to students. This year's graduation celebrated 15 students that finished the program. 
[JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  5. Editorial: Trump, not military, should set troop levels in Afghanistan


    There is no task more solemn for any American president than the decision to send troops off to war. In delegating authority over troops levels in Afghanistan to the Pentagon, President Donald Trump has shirked his obligation to own and defend his Afghan policy, while further divorcing America's military strategy there …