City ordinance restricts oil company's application for sign permit

City ordinance restricts oil company's application for sign permit

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The oil company, FESCO, based in Alice, Texas, has several offices around the state.

They're planning to move their Odessa office to Midland for a little more space. Right now, the company has property they purchased located on I-20. That's where they hope to put up a sign to advertise their business.

"Just to get the community and the region on such a busy interstate, such as I-20, to understand who we are and what we do," said FESCO Corporate Engineer Justin Findley. "It's for recruiting, as well."

First, FESCO will have to get a sign permit application approved. But there's one problem, the sign might be a little big, according to city ordinance.

"The sign is technically not a billboard, it's a message center," said Midland Councilman John Love III. "The difference between a billboard and a message center is a billboard allows off-premise advertising. A message center means is that it is internal to that organization. So while it's not a billboard, it's the size of a billboard so that presents the challenges."

City ordinance states an electronic message center can't exceed 75 square feet. But the company is planning for a 602 square foot sign. FESCO believes this sign will best promote their business.

"We don't feel in the economic condition or in general that it's an effective use of capital because it won't be noticed unless you're specifically looking for it," said Findley. "Something so small is a safety concern on I-20."

But the need for a permit application is more than just a sign, FESCO hopes this will allow them to continue expanding their energy services in the Basin.

"We want something of a significant size that is effective worthy of a significant capital contribution that can be safely seen and promote our services and our company," said Findley. "You've got to market yourself in this day and age, we got competitors popping up left and right. The industry and economy is very tough. Anything we can do to help out our families working for us, we think this is a good first step."

The city council said they are going to work with FESCO to discuss the problem so they can reach a compromise.

FESCO plans to begin construction on their new Midland office sometime this year.

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