Be a Good Neighbor and Turn Down the Lights sign now

Often when driving home to Fort Plain at night I find my attention drawn to bright lights in the sky and on the horizon south of town. I'd find myself wondering -- where are these lights coming from? Is it a UFO landing in Stone Arabia, is it the Northern Lights or something else entirely? As I approach the Palatine Church coming from St. Johnsville the lights suggest the hills hide a newly built city. Could it all just be a figment of my imagination?



The lights seem so far off (you can see the lights from as far away as Little Falls, Sharon and Sprakers) that it's hard to believe they could be bright enough to be from Fuccillo's. However it is no mistake, those are the "huge" lights, which are easily the brightest point between Utica and Amsterdam.



Not only are the lights at Fuccillo's a distraction they are also an eyesore. They have come to dominate the southern skyline and shine brighter than any of our communities. In addition the lights make seeing stars impossible on all but the darkest of nights. That may not concern you but what should is that future developments will likely follow the precedent set by Fuccillo's. If route five were to end up looking like route thirty in Amsterdam it would be a real shame.



With time I've come to wonder just how the dealerships in Nelliston can possibly be as bright and out of proportion with their surroundings, and anything else in the valley for that matter. I mean why can't we see the Price Chopper Plaza or Save-A-Lot from twenty miles away? So on a recent night I took a drive around the valley to see what the difference was.



At Price Chopper Plaza I found eight working lamp posts, with two lights per post. There were a few more that were either out of order or off but the lot was well lit. Save-A-Lot had four lamp posts with two lights per post, and again not all of them were turned on. Also thinking back to the previous car dealerships in the area I drove by Roosevelt's, Hawkin's, Hanifin's, etc. to find that at most there were a few floodlights covering the old lots.



Then I drove through Fuccillo's. The total for the three dealerships on the hill is in the neighborhood of one-hundred-and-fifty lamp posts, most of which had three lights, not two as most of the lights I found elsewhere. By my count, there are more lamp posts at the dealerships than in all of Fort Plain. Further the lights at Fuccillo's are brighter than any of the other lights I saw, making it like daylight when you are under them. Billy's deals may not be the only thing that's HUGE over there. I'm guessing his electric bill isn't anything to sneeze at.



Some people have suggested all those lights are "for security". These days people steal cars, catalytic converters, bumpers, you name it. However studies have shown that bright lights in parking lots not only fail to prevent crime, they tend to increase it's likelihood. Why? Well because the criminals can see perfectly well under the lights with little to tip off neighbors or Police that something is wrong...the way that people running around in the dark with flashlights would.



Another thought is advertising. Billy likes to get his message out in a big way. If you've ever listened to the radio you'll know he blankets the media with constant ads saying things like "just twenty minutes from Utica." Perhaps the lights are just another part of his campaign. Even if we aren't *really* twenty minutes from Utica you *can* see the cars from half way here, perhaps making them more worthwhile in his eyes.



And then there are other nights, where the last person out seems to turn off the lights, at least many of them. Sadly, those nights are much too infrequent, which is the goal of this petition to present to Fuccillo's asking them to be more considerate -- to turn off the lights at closing each and every day and also look at ways to *better* light the lots. Possibilities include directed lights that send light down to the ground where you need it, not up into the night sky.



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Christie MathisBy:
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Billy Fuccillo

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