SENATE, No. 2156




DATED: JUNE 19, 1997


      The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee reports favorably Senate Bill No. 2156.

      Senate Bill No. 2156 codifies the authority of the Commissioner of Transportation to produce revenue for the State from leasing, licensing or contracting Department of Transportation property used for the placement of motorist service signs and tourist-oriented directional signs. The commissioner may set a fee for the lease, license or contract that is at least equal to the fair rental value for the use of the property or the commissioner may award the lease, license or contract through competitive public bids or proposals.

      Motorist service signs are widely called LOGO signs. LOGO signs and tourist oriented directional signs are nationally standardized and authorized by the Federal Highway Administration; they provide directional information to motorists on the location of key services such as food, fuel and lodging or the direction and distance to places of particular interest to tourists.

      According to the Department of Transportation, the program is run by a private vendor. To date, signs have been placed at 90 major intersections in the State; approximately 602 signs have been contracted for and 363 businesses participate in the program.

      Finally, this bill also requires that any billboard or outdoor advertising sign licensed and permitted pursuant to the "Roadside Sign Control and Outdoor Advertising Act," P.L.1991, c.413 (C.27:5-5 et seq.), will be subject to local government zoning ordinances, applicable local government building permit requirements, and in the pinelands area, the comprehensive management plan prepared and adopted by the Pinelands Commission. The Department of Transportation is charged with the supervision and regulation of the "Roadside Sign Control and Outdoor Advertising Act."

      As reported, this bill is identical to Assembly Bill No. 3089 (DeCroce/Kavanaugh).



      According to the Department of Transportation, the program generated approximately $600,000 in revenues in Fiscal Year 1997; the department anticipates receiving $575,000 in Fiscal Year 1998.