Millington business owner feuds with city over sign

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MILLINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - A Millington business owner says a newly restrictive sign ordinance there will hurt business owners who can't afford to spend money on advertising.

Clarence Roland, who owns a tire stop on Navy Road, is currently feuding with the city over his sign, which advertises four tires for $239.

"I've been on this corner 45 years on June the 15th," Roland said. "Business was good for the first 40.  Last five years, it's been horrible.  Almost six months ago, it was so bad I thought I was going to close, so I put the sign out."

But last month, Millington's Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance prohibiting 29 different sign types, including the one outside Roland's Navy Road shop.

"Our business has tripled, and I can show you the figures if you need to see them," Roland said. "And I cannot stand without it."

Mayor Richard Hodges had no vote in the matter, but he is sticking to his guns.

"I gave them seven months," Hodges said. "Seven months to put out any kind of sign they wanted."

For one, Hodges said, signs like the one Roland is using distract drivers.

"People don't come in there because of that sign," he said. "They come into that place because of the service he gives, who he is, and how long he's been here, and that you can trust him."

Hodges said he is also working to beautify the city.

"We got a 100% grant on Navy Road," he said. "$800,000 to put median strips, plant trees, and plant flowers."

But Roland says a median would block his entrance.

"They want to see it pretty. I want to see it pretty too, but they don't have to make the payments to that bank like I have," he said.

Roland said he won't take things sitting down.

"I'm ready to go to court, I'm just waiting to see what they say. I'm going to court," he said.

That court date, according to Hodges, is set for July 25.
"It's just one thing after another," Roland said. "Seems like they're trying to put you out of business."

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