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A sign of the times in Rotterdam

Anthony Segretto, owner of D'Aurizio's Pizzeria on Curry Road, noticed a surge in business two years ago after he installed an electronic sign in his window that advertised the restaurant's daily specials.

I'd been in the same location for six years without a lot of success, said Segretto, who bought the sign at a pizza expo in Las Vegas. "But after I installed the sign I had to hire three more employees to keep up."

Last week, Segretto learned his beloved sign is in violation with Rotterdam's town code.

On Wednesday, March 12, the Rotterdam Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed change to the town code that would allow public schools and firehouses to use flashing signs but would continue to ban churches, fraternal organizations, business owners and private citizens from erecting any sign illuminated by or containing flashing, intermittent, rotating or moving lights.

While Segretto said he hadn't been cited for his sign, he wanted to ensure that he wouldn't have to take it down if the town's code amendment passed.

"Business had increased 25 percent, and I don't do any other form of advertising," said Segretto at the public hearing.

Segretto said he's been considering opening a second location in Rotterdam, but would look to develop his business outside the town if he couldn't install an electronic sign.

Tim Prescott, a sales consultant for Ray Sign in Schenectady also spoke at the public hearing. His company installed the electronic signs at Mohonasen High School and at the Blue Ribbon Diner in Schenectady. He said business has slowed because laws, like the one on the books in Rotterdam, only allow certain organizations to use his electronic signs.

"We're not trying to turn the town into Las Vegas," said Prescott. "This is a new type of signage. You can change the message periodically throughout the day with relative ease, regardless of weather."

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