Sign ordinance amendments that would allow for new digital billboards could finally be approved Thursday evening.

The Longview City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 300 W. Cotton St.

The meeting agenda includes a public hearing and then consideration of the amendments, which ultimately could lead to redevelopment of a vacant restaurant site by an internationally regarded retailer.

The amendments more clearly define digital off-premise signs, where they can be located and the legal ways they can be installed, Development Services Director Michael Shirley has said.

The amendments set parameters on the distance between signs, their maximum brightness under daylight and nighttime conditions and guidelines such as requiring that the existing signs must be taken down before a new digital sign can be erected, Shirley said.

Also, billboard owners who take down sign facings but don’t immediately erect a new digital facing can receive credits to do so in the future. The credits would be valid for six years and can be conveyed to new owners if the property is sold, provided that all parties sign affidavits to the agreement

The new laws would forbid illumination by flashing, intermittent or moving lights, animated displays, moving videos, scrolling ads or static images meant to illuminate a static object, which Shirley described as someone beaming the Batman signal onto a structure or other subject.

In other matters, Mayor Andy Mack will lead a City Council discussion about expanding apprenticeship and career technology educational opportunities in Longview.

City spokesman Shawn Hara confirmed that the discussion relates to an idea Longview ISD Superintendent James Wilcox introduced to Longview Economic Development Corp. directors last month about choosing the charter school route for the East Texas Advanced Manufacturing Academy on West South Street.

The idea would include bringing Longview ISD’s Early Graduation Academy into the ETAMA fold, too, Wilcox said at that time.

Longview ISD is the fiscal agent for ETAMA, which offers college-level instruction in courses designed to provide area high school students either dual credits or the training needed to apprentice, intern or secure jobs at local industries. Kilgore College and Texas State Technical College provide instruction at the campus.

Council members have a lengthy consent agenda that includes an $843,465 purchase of a new fire engine, the disbursement of grants from hotel/motel occupancy tax funds and the purchase of several lots of property where the city plans to build a new Longview Police Department station.

Also during the meeting, Texas Commission on the Arts Executive Director Gary Gibbs will present a proclamation to the City Council designating Longview’s Cultural Arts District. The state commission approved the designation of Longview’s 342-acre district Sept. 5.Mack has two other presentations on the agenda: a proclamation designating Oct. 14-18 as Chamber of Commerce Week in the city and a proclamation commemorating the East Texas Down Syndrome Group’s 18th annual Buddy Walk, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the ROC at First Baptist Church-Longview, 209 E. South St.

Jimmy Daniell Isaac covers the city of Longview and Gregg County. Follow him on Twitter: @jimmyisaaclives.