CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A billboard in one city is pitting itself against another. The billboard reads “Decatur is safer than Champaign.” Lots of people are angry about the message.
The company which put the sign up runs through the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC). It’s part of the campaign “Know it, Learn the Truth about Decatur.”
No one from EDC was available for comment. The message seemingly popped up out of nowhere.
The company, Limitless Decatur, claims to tell people everything they need to know about the city, but some people aren’t buying it.
“I don’t think it’s quite true though.”
Depending on which website you look at, Decatur and Champaign are similar when it comes to crime.
“To tell you the truth, I actually feel safer here in Champaign.”
Limitless Decatur works with EDC. Champaign’s corporation responded to the billboard.
“It was unfortunate to see the messages displayed. We believe that we are stronger when we work together to showcase our community, region and state assets to build a stronger Illinois economy.”
People in Decatur say the billboard could be used for other purposes.
“I would much rather see something about things we offer thgouh, like our education system. Being a teacher myself, it would be great to hear our success rates.”
Regardless of what the message says, some people say it won’t work.
“I don’t think anyone’s going to be persuaded by the billboard to actually go to Decatur by seeing that.”
Champaign County’s EDC says the billboards should have been taken down by 2 pm. There was also a similar billboard comparing the crime rates to Springfield on another corner.