Minden Medical Center can move forward with a digital sign after the Minden Planning Commission approved a variance to a city ordinance.
During a commission meeting Thursday, MMC Marketing Director Jennifer Spurlock and Director of Physician and Industry Relations Sarah Haynes explained to commission members they wanted to be able to promote other health-related events and affiliated physicians on the digital sign they intend to construct at the front of the hospital.
“If one of our physicians is having a health screening at their office on Homer Road, we’ve got to put it on our sign,” Haynes, also the chair of the MPC, said. “The ordinance reads that we can only advertise for property on which the sign sits.”
Minden City Ordinances spells out what can and cannot be advertised on signs.
Spurlock gave examples of what kind of advertising is in compliance with the ordinance and which are not.
MMC has space on a billboard on Interstate 20 in Bossier City, and she says she would like to see some of those advertisements scroll through on the new sign at the hospital.
“This is why we are asking for the variance,” she said. “This is just to promote services that are not necessarily provided at the hospital.”
Other examples include the Krewe de Ambassadeurs Bal’, which is not on the hospital grounds but is sponsored by MMC, a community Coke drive, which will be done by a physician whose office is on Murrell Street and any health fairs or screenings affiliated with the hospital which might be offsite.
Haynes says they understand the issue it might cause if the hospital is granted the variance, such as other entities asking for a variance similar to this one.
“We just feel like between MMC and the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce, some things could be promoted that are off premises,” Haynes said, adding they can advertise community events, such as the annual St. Jude Auction, or the annual St. Jude 5K Run.
The purpose of the ordinance is to preserve and encourage a positive image for the city to protect economic stability.
Following the passage of the variance, there is a 14-day period where the public may appeal the decision if they don’t agree with it.