LED Message Board Considered for Yorktown Intersection

An LED sign is being proposed for the four-way intersection of routes 202/118/35 and Commerce Street. Credits: Google Maps

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - In lieu of the temporary signs and banners that currently season the four-way intersection of routes 202/118/35 and Commerce Street, the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce is suggesting an LED sign that will flash more messages at a faster pace.

The proposed 2-and-a-half by 9-foot sign will sit in between the sections of the brick wall in front of the Triangle Center, plug into the same grid that powers the street lights and is projected to use just $17.42 of energy annually to run it 24/7, said Eric DiBartolo, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s really the way of the future,” he said.

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The proposed message board was brainstormed by Nancy Stingone, executive director of the chamber, to serve as an outlet for the Chamber of Commerce to highlight local businesses and broadcast announcements.

Typically, they use banners and DiBartolo said businesses have asked about also hanging things there. In addition to the signs that are permanently standing, such as the Purple Heart Town sign and community events board, it can look too busy, DiBartolo said.

Inspired in part by the newly installed sign outside of Yorktown High School, the idea grew for the proposed message board to be available to the entire community.

DiBartolo said the chamber does not intend to vex any of the other community organizations that use the patch of grass in front of the Triangle Center. The device’s scheduling software enables users to carve out designated blocks of time that can conceptually be booked by anyone who asks the chamber, which intends to cover the entire $12,800 cost of the sign, software, installation and maintenance.

DiBartolo and other chamber members including vice president Sergio Esposito, pitched the sign to the town board (except Councilman Vishnu Patel, who was absent) at the Jan. 10 work session.

LED Sign Supply, a Canadian company, provided specific literature about the model the chamber wants. It boasts weatherproof aluminum, low-energy consumption and web-based software that could potentially allow emergency alerts to be issued near-instantaneously. The chamber also offered the board a daily hour-long spot on the message board.

The board was generally supportive of the concept; however, members did have reservations. Supervisor Michael Grace was concerned about the sign’s aesthetic and size, which was initially proposed to be larger than the school’s. Additionally, the wall that would serve as the foundation of the sign is the property of the Triangle Center; therefore, the Chamber of Commerce has to enter a license agreement to use the space.

Ultimately, board members echoed DiBartolo’s sentiment that the corner hosts a “hodgepodge” of signage; Grace questioned the efficacy of all the signs and Councilman Tom Diana agreed that passersby might tune them out like white noise. Councilman Ed Lachterman said the Lions Club had been considering a similar idea and he was “all for it.”

Once in place, the new sign would mostly contain messages from town hall, emergency notifications and the Chamber of Commerce, DiBartolo said. The chamber would not charge a fee to other groups that advertise annual events.

After the four board members minus Patel inspected the proposed site Jan. 13, they agreed to consider the application once written agreements are finalized. Town Attorney Michael J. McDermott said an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce and an agreement with the shopping center would need to be finalized prior to any sign being placed. Currently, he said, the town has a license agreement for the events sign that is at the site now. He said that, if approved, some signs at the location may be removed, but nothing is certain yet.

DiBartolo expects the license agreement to be finalized soon and said the public can anticipate the new sign within a few weeks, if the town board approves it. The chamber will also re-landscape the area, he said, planting annuals and perennials for an overall improvement.

“We’re very excited,” he said.

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