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Outdated billboard an eye-catcher Fix It / What needs repairing around Buffalo Niagara

Count Fix It among those who shudder at the sight of outdated billboards, yard sale signs, etc.

One billboard in particular, near the Elm Street exit of the northbound Niagara Thruway, prompted a couple of readers to write to Fix It last week. Reportedly, someone even complained about it to the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau.

From a reader's e-mail: "The sign is advertising an exhibit at the Pierce-Arrow Automobile Museum celebrating 'Women and the Automobile.' The only problem is that the exhibit runs from May through October of 2002. The sign is nearly four years outdated."

"The billboard makes it appear as if the Museum is out of business, even though I understand that is not the case," the reader states.

That billboard is one of three that sit atop a standard owned by James T. Sandoro, founder and director of the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum.

Not only is the museum still in business, the women's exhibit has grown and has been one of the most popular, Sandoro responded.

"It's permanent now," Sandoro said. "When we made it permanent, we went up and glued a patch on [the billboard]."

The patch, put on at the end of the first season, covered only the year, Sandoro said, since the museum is open May through October. "It lasted for six months, eight months," before it came off, he said.

Sewing on the patch would have required temporarily taking down the sign and cost several hundred dollars, Sandoro said. Creating a new sign would cost a few grand.

A new billboard will be going up once Gov. George E. Pataki signs legislation that will redirect $3 million of the Adelphia money to an expansion of the museum and construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed gas station that will function, instead, as a visitors center.

Fix It helps get action on problems that readers of The News encounter in their everyday travels. To report such situations, leave a voice mail message on the Fix It line at 849-6026, e-mail fixit@buffnews.com, or send a letter to Fix It, c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203.

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