UPDATE: Third Sebastian billboard chosen, status of Fellsmere-area sign unclear

By Lisa Zahner and Debbie CarsonSEBASTIAN — Billboards advertising the City of Sebastian as “An Unspoiled Paradise” will go up in a few weeks along Interstate 95. The art for the last of three billboards was chosen by a consensus of the City Council Wednesday and the winner is a shot depicting the area’s natural beauty as seen from a kayak or flats fishing boat — the type of eco-tourism Sebastian is looking for via its new campaign.

Unsatisfied with the colors of the sunrise palm tree photo used in the prior version of the billboard, council had sent City Manager Al Minner back to the drawing board for new art. The Sebastian City Council has previously approved two other billboards, which include photos of pelicans skimming the water and a group of kayakers and phrases such as “Play in Paradise” and “Join the Crowd.”The billboards will be placed both north and south of the city — 39 miles north in Brevard County, 1 mile north just before the city and 4 miles south of Sebastian.The status of the Fellsmere-area billboard is unclear, as Councilmember Andrea Coy said she received some information that the billboard might actually be inside the City limits and covered by a Fellsmere ordinance grandfathering in existing billboards but not allowing any new ones or any substantially damaged billboards to be replaced.”I’m going to have a big problem with a contract based on lies,” Coy said, referring to statements made to the Council by the purveyor of the billboards.City Manager Al Minner said Wednesday night that he would place a call to Fellsmere City Manager Jason Nunemaker to check the status of the billboard and whether or not it fell under the jurisdiction of the City and, if so, what the issues might be with the billboard ordinance.”There are no problems with the ones up north and down south,” Minner said.

The council approved setting aside $40,000 for the billboards, using funds from the Community Redevelopment Agency. But the current budget places the project closer to $46,000. Minner has told VeroNews.com that the $6,000 extra could be accommodated easily within the community redevelopment area budget, which is the source of the $40,000.

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