Letter from feds makes Councilman think twice about Electric Factory ad

Councilman Mark Squilla has proposed an out-of-the-box idea that city council have discretionary authority over a portion of the city's budget. (Akira Suwa / Staff Photographer)

Councilman Mark Squilla will not seek to override Mayor Nutter’s veto today of a bill that would have allowed for a huge wall-wrap digital billboard on the Electric Factory. (See today’s Daily News story.)

“At this point I’m not going to put any of my colleagues in the position to have to make that decision until I feel comfortable with us moving forward with it,” said Squilla adding he wants to be “sure and positive” Council is doing the right thing.

A letter from PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration has forced the Councilman to think twice.

Both agencies have warned that erecting an ad on the building at 7th and Callowhill streets would violate state and federal laws because it is within 600 feet of a highway and would result in a 10 percent loss of federal funding.

Squilla said he will make a decision by early next week as to whether he will seek an override next Thursday and subsequently let a court make the final decision or amend the measure.