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Sign wars

Friday, 27th September, 2019

A welcome sign on the Adelaide Road being lifted by a crane yesterday morning. PICTURE: Callum Marshall A welcome sign on the Adelaide Road being lifted by a crane yesterday morning. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

An ugly dispute over a welcome sign took a bizarre twist yesterday when City Council declared it did not own it.

The two parties Boss Constructions and Council have been locked in a long-running tit-for-tat battle over a parcel of land on the Adelaide Road purchased almost a decade ago.

Boss Constructions Director Nick Bobos told Wednesday night’s Council meeting he would be removing the sign from his land because City Council had not paid rent for it.

He followed that up yesterday morning with a team of men to remove it from the ground and lift it away.

“We thought it would be best to take it down and move it aside,” Mr Bobos said.

“We would consider putting it back up if Council were happy to pay rent.

“We have sent them a claim for use of the land.

“They’re fighting that claim.”

Mr Bobos said they had tried to work on a settlement.

“We’ve provided a settlement offer that was more than reasonable.”

He said they have also blocked off the parking bay, so drivers can’t pull in there now.

But City Council now says the sign belongs to Boss.

“The sign in question became the property of the owner when the land was purchased circa 2012,” a Council spokesman said yesterday.

“The owner is free to do as they please with the sign.”

In July, Boss Constructions was forced to remove a large steel “Broken Hill” sign it placed on its land because Council said it did not have a development application for it.

Boss and Council have also been in dispute about the payment of rates on the land. Mr Bobos told Wednesday’s Council meeting that his rates had tripled, and that Council was hitting him “pretty hard with barristers and lawyers”.

Council is currently constructing more welcome signs for each entry point to the city. These large steel signs were designed by a Melbourne artist.

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