Boston Mayor Proposes New Rules & Fees for News Boxes

june 5, 2008  10:23 am
Mayor Thomas M. Menino has proposed capping at 300 the number of boxes a publisher could place in the city and charging them $25 per box per year, plus a $300 annual fee to receive a certificate of compliance, the Boston Globe reports. The ordinance would have to be approved by the City Council, which yesterday sent it to a committee. "We only have so much room on the sidewalk for news boxes," says a spokeswoman for Menino. "We think 300 news boxes per publication is generous in order to cover the city." City records show that no publication has 300 boxes yet, though several are close, including Boston's Weekly Dig, which currently has 284. Boston Phoenix circulation director Jim Dorgan tells the Globe the new fees are significant -- AAN's quick calculation shows that a publisher with the max of 300 boxes would pay $7,800 a year. He also says that another aspect of the ordinance, which precludes a publisher from having two news boxes for the same publication within 150 feet of each other, is "very restrictive."