Santa Clarita officials have agreed to a tentative agreement with Edwards Outdoor Advertising to purchase the business for the purposes of removing the company’s 47 billboards within Santa Clarita city limits, officials confirmed Friday.
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City Manager Ken Striplin confirmed a tentative deal had been reached with the billboard company at the March 11 City Council meeting; however, he also said the deal was pending approval from the City Council and he was not at liberty to discuss the terms.
Edwards Outdoor Advertising company officials sent out a letter March 8 to its past and present customers, which was obtained by KHTS AM-1220.
“Our family believes that given the complexities of what just occurred with the MTA deal, and the continued threat that MTA may cancel our leases on a whim and/or as possible retaliation for our vocal opposition to the deal, that this is the best possible outcome for our family,” in a letter attributed to Julie Edwards-Sanchez, president of Edwards Outdoor Advertising.
The letter did not cite any specifics of the deal, but it thanked residents for their support at recent City Council meetings, and asked for their continued support.
Santa Clarita City Council members voted 3-1 to send a billboard deal from Metro to a second reading March 25.
Related article: Santa Clarita City Council OKs Metro Billboards For Second Reading 
The proposal from the transportation agency is proposing three large electronic billboards on city land next to Interstate 5 and Highway 14, in exchange for a move that would ultimately take down 62 smaller billboards located on Metro land throughout the city.
The deal reached between the city and Edwards is separate from the City Council's proposal with Metro, officials said.
City Council members' move was made after the three-hour discussion turned contentious several times, with a recess taken early on to quiet disruptions to the meeting.
Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste recused herself from the vote because she lived close to more than one billboard site that would be taken down on the Metro's right of way.
Related article: Santa Clarita City Council OKs Metro Billboard Proposal 
The letter also assures that all contracts will be honored, and that when the deal is finalized, company officials will work with all individuals to discuss the implications for Edwards’s customers.
Metro officials said preliminary talks with Clear Channel and CBS have taken place.
"We will enter further discussion with them if our boards of directors approves the Santa Clarita agreement," said Paul Gonzales, spokesman for Metro.
City of Santa Clarita officials said negotiations on their behalf, were not taking place with Metro or Clear Channel.
"This (recent deal) goes a long way toward getting rid of billboards," said Gail Morgan, city of Santa Clarita spokeswoman, "which the city has sought to do for many years."
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Santa Clarita, Edwards Outdoor Reach Tentative Deal To Remove Billboards
Article: Santa Clarita, Edwards Outdoor Reach Tentative Deal To Remove Billboards 
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith