Holiday Lights Rules Irk Upstate New York Business Owners

December 5, 2013

Business owners in Buffalo’s popular Elmwood Village shopping and entertainment district say the city is threatening to pull the plug on a holiday tradition.

Local media report that city officials have warned business owners along Elmwood Avenue that they can’t plug holiday light displays into street light poles unless they hire licensed electricians to do the work and take out liability insurance of at least $1 million.

Putting up festive holiday lights is a tradition for owners of the shops, restaurants and other businesses along Elmwood. They string the lights in trees and plug them into sockets on the city’s light poles.

But the Elmwood Village Association received a letter last week from the city that spells out restrictions for stringing lights, including having a licensed and insured electrician put them up.

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