Waterloo councilman wants advertising space sold on city vehicle - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo councilman wants advertising space sold on city vehicles

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A Waterloo city councilman wants the city to sell advertising space on city vehicles.

Waterloo city councilman Ron Welper says it's not a new idea, and is being executed by cities across the country.

"I think people are confused when we talk about putting ads on our public safety vehicles," said Welper. "We're not talking about a picture of a pizza on the side of a squad car. These are words of support. It could be a private individual saying they support public safety or it could be 'Black Hawk Broadcasting supports the Waterloo Police Department.' Whatever it may be."

At $99 a month, a business or an individual can buy advertising space on a Waterloo police, fire or garbage truck. There would only be one ad space per vehicle on squad cars with those ad messages of support. Welper says there would be more flexibility with the ads on garbage trucks. 

The idea, Welper says, is to generate revenue for the city. 

"Looking at this program of advertising on squad cars and fire trucks, and public safety vehicles including the garbage trucks which are a much larger add-It would generate about $100,00 a year for the city," said Welper. 

On election night, revisiting Waterloo's budget was one of the most common concerns mentioned by city council candidates. 

"Every year the city is always short on money -contractual agreements with our employees of course," said Welper. "And now this year, we're looking at a problem with the city not getting back fill money from the state in regards to commercial property so there's an even greater need for money."

Currently, there is one Waterloo police squad car piloting the program, with a sample advertisement by Signs by Tomorrow in Cedar Falls

"The city's going to be looking for a new revenue source," said Welper. "Wherever they can-otherwise you're going to have to raise taxes. I'm not saying that this is going to solve their problem. But when you look, it costs roughly $50,000 for an employee-this could hire two police officers."

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