Service station debris sparks anger

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Management changes at the Palestine Road service station has one resident in an uproar.

Van McGill said the service station on Palestine Road, the Apex Oil Company Inc., was kept up under its previous management. However in the last six months after the business was sold to a new owner, the upkeep of the station has been lacking, McGill said.

McGill said he has noticed broken-down cars, engines and oil on the ground at the station, which sits on the corner of Dozier Street and Palestine Road. some broken-down cars intersection used to prevent McGill from seeing if other cars are coming as he pulls out onto Palestine Road from Dozier Street. Those cars are now gone.

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“Whether they’re open or not they need to clean their act up,” McGill said.

The new owner of the business, Jeremy Wilson, said he is doing his best to remedy the problem. His family is facing medical problems that have kept him from operating the business on a regular basis and from remedying the cause of community complaints.

Wilson said he has contacted someone to come and pick up old tires for recycling and is in the process of cleaning out the broken down cars. So far, he has removed 10 of the cars.

McGill was told that if the station stopped selling gas for 14 days, then it would have to shut down. For more than a month and a half, gas has not been sold at the station, he said.

City employee Barbara McGrew said since the property is zoned C-1, which is the proper zoning for service stations, it can stay there indefinitely whether gas is sold there or not.

Wilson said he will begin selling gas again when the prices begin to stabilize. Since prices are dropping, he would lose money if he were to buy gas for retail sale now. If he were to purchase 10,000 gallons and the prices dropped before it was delivered Wilson estimates he would lose about $2,000 on that shipment alone.

“I can’t afford to lose that kind of money,” Wilson said.

McGrew gave Wilson 14 days to remedy the cause of concern with the residents, which are the old cars and other debris. He has about a week of that time left.