Springville Mayor William Isley said Tuesday that the land owner and billboard owner decided to take down the sign.
The sign was rolled up around noon on Wednesday, revealing an “available” sign and phone number beneath.
The sign read, “Diversity means chasing down the last white person” and ended with the hashtag #whitegenocide. Some considered the sign racist.
The owners of the billboard company, Dyar Outdoors, say they are glad the sign is now down. They apologized to the community that the sign went up at all and they say they have learned through this entire ordeal.
“We in no way had any input into the wording of the sign and do not support it,” Dyar Outdoors co-owner Shannon Dyar said.
Shannon Dyar says that is part of the reason he and his brother, who own Dyar Outdoors, decided to take the sign down Wednesday. It had gone up five days before.
Dyar says he knew the sign dealt with diversity but did not know exactly what it said until a subcontractor hung it.
It was hard for those driving along I -59 near Springville to miss, and it wasn’t long before they began voicing their dislike of it.
Dean Goforth leases the land to the Dyars. Once the community began speaking out, the two parties got together and decided it was best to remove thee sign.
“Friday evening, we started getting phone calls asking if we knew what went up,” Goforth said.
So on Wednesday morning, the Dyar brothers went up and within minutes, the billboard came down. But not before Dyar says he was bombarded with so many threats, he’s had to turn his business phone off.
“I’m not a racist. I’m just a business man and this is probably not the best decision we ever made, but we rectified it and hope everybody’s happy,” Dyar said.
Dyar says this was a costly lesson for the company: he refunded the money, several thousand dollars, to those who had purchased the sign. He says from here on out, the company will have a more stringent screening process.
Goforth says he will continue to allow the Dyars to have the autonomy to determine what signs go up, but he feels they will do as they said, and be more selective going forward.
FOX6 reached out to the organization that paid for the sign, but they have not yet returned our request for comment.