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Discussion of a developer's request to place a 77-foot-high sign on City of Olean property was postponed during Tuesday night's work session by aldermen, who requested more information.

The proposed sign would advertise a Country Fair convenience center and gas station now under construction at 12th and Wayne streets by Park Centre Development Inc.

Representatives of Country Fair, who were not present at the work session, want to erect the sign, measuring 196 square feet, in view of motorists traveling on the Route 17 Southern Tier Expressway and near a well house owned by the city.

City Attorney John Hart told aldermen that approval would deviate from the city's sign code, which mandates a height limitation of 25 feet and a maximum area of 65 square feet for any sign on city property.

"I think we should try to work with them and get compensation for it," said Common Council President James P. Griffin, who said he would request that Code Enforcement Officer Capt. Christopher Young advise aldermen during a Nov. 5 work session.

Ward 6 Alderman Gary "Casey" Jones and Ward 7 Alderman Richard Say expressed concern for nearby residents who might be subjected to excessive nighttime illumination from the sign.

During a meeting of the Public Works Committee, also held Tuesday night, members authorized Mayor John Ash to write a letter asking the state Department of Transportation to update a four-year-old traffic study of West State Street. A number of completed development projects and new proposals have altered traffic patterns in that area.

"Each new project refers to the traffic studies in the earlier projects," said Jones, recalling a request to DOT at the time of construction of the Tops Super Store to hold off on turn lane improvements until a major widening project could be undertaken by both the city and the state. But DOT officials refused because they had a signed contract, he said.

"We did not believe three lanes was the answer outside the city," Jones said.

In other work session business:

Griffin reported that the Urban Renewal Agency appointed Laurie Branch to research payment options under a Council proposal to receive some of the proceeds if the agency ever sells any of the 50-acre former Conrail property. The matter will be discussed during a future work session.

November meeting dates were changed to accommodate Election Day and Veterans Day. Meetings normally scheduled on Nov. 4, including the Council's regular work session, will be held at the same time Nov. 5. A Nov. 9 Council meeting will be changed to Nov. 10.

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