Sign too bright for Depew school’s neighbor - The Buffalo News

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Sign too bright for Depew school’s neighbor

Nearly a year after a digital sign was placed outside a Depew school, one neighbor is seeking a favor: Please don’t leave the light on.

Robert Smith, who proudly stated that he is a 37-year neighbor of Cayuga Heights Elementary School on Como Park Boulevard, approached the Depew Board of Education this week to complain that the new digital sign outside the school flashes brightly at all hours of the night.

A window of his home faces the sign, causing a blinding effect for him and his family as they traverse a hallway.

“It is really obnoxious,” Smith said. “You’ve really made it a big problem for us.”

Board members accepted a $19,000 donation from the Cayuga Heights Parent Teacher Organization to purchase the sign last June to improve the appearance of the grounds and advertise upcoming events.

Trustee Barbara Staebell asked Superintendent Jeffrey Rabey if the sign is supposed to be so bright at night, and he responded that it is not.

“We thought that was being dimmed out at night,” Rabey said.

Smith questioned the need for the sign to be on overnight, but he suggested that if it must be lit, the school should use darker colors instead of white so the blinding effect is diminished. He also expressed concern that the sign could distract drivers and cause accidents with its flashing, glowing messages.

Depew High School Principal Carol Townsend, who has coveted the sign since its placement, jokingly offered a solution.

“You could always move the sign to the high school,” she quipped.

Rabey told Smith that district officials would make sure the structure is dimmed in the future.

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