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April 14, 2022 - 8:14pm

Pembroke man set to 'glow' for it as neon light specialist

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Planning Board, Lenape Resources, inc..

After a long career in the natural gas and oil exploration industry, Pembroke resident William Gerych is ready to put the “bright” idea he has been holding onto for a while into action.

Gerych and his wife, Mary Ann, attended tonight’s Genesee County Planning Board meeting at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road, seeking a special use permit for a home-based business: Creating and repairing neon signs.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Gerych, who has worked for Lenape Resources, Inc., of Alexander for the past 39 years. “I like bending glass and have learned that it is truly an art.”

He said he spent six weeks learning the craft in a one-on-one training session with Howie Cohen, owner of Just Neon in Utica.

Gerych said neon sign repair is a “dying industry” because there aren’t a lot of people specializing in the vocation, but believes there is a market for it. His business plan is to advertise through the internet and to contact stores and restaurants that either sell or display the signs.

The planning board, understanding that Gerych will work out of his pole barn-style garage behind his house, recommended approval of the special use permit request with the stipulation that storage and disposal of any hazardous materials must comply with state and federal regulations.

In other action, the board recommended approval of:

  • The downtown design site plan for a new façade at 35 Batavia City Centre for the Batavia Players’ Main Street 56 Theater;
  • Site plan of additions to two office buildings under construction on the Gateway GS LLC (Gallina Development) site on Call Parkway. One building is going from 22,200 square feet to 30,000 square feet and the other is going from 27,000 square feet to 33,600 square feet. A third building, designated for future construction, will be reduced from 27,000 square feet to 17,400 square feet;
  • Site plan for a 55- by 70-foot addition at O-At-Ka Milk Products on Ellicott Street Road, a project known as a MaCC Room Expansion.

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