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Huntington may lift ban on self-service gas pumps

The Town of Huntington requires attendants to pump

The Town of Huntington requires attendants to pump gas. Credit: Barry Sloan

A prohibition on self-service at gas stations in Huntington may be running out of fuel because town officials are considering changing town code to lift the ban.

Town officials will hold a public hearing this month to discuss allowing self-service nozzles while keeping the full-service option at gas stations.

“We met with the Long Island Gas Retailers Association which asked us to consider this because we are one of the few municipalities that ban self-serve gas dispensing nozzles,” town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said. “So we wanted to look at the topic again since it’s been long-standing. ”

Lupinacci said the ban on self-service gas dispensing in the town has been in place since the 1970s when the Long Island Gas Retailers  Association asked town officials to only allow full serve options because consumers were skimming gas from pumps.

“There weren’t fancy credit card machines or the cut off like there are today, so it was costing the gas station owners money,” Lupinacci said.

He said gas prices are higher in Huntington because it requires more attendants working on site, so if the resolution passes it will save the consumer money.

“The legislation would require at least one full service dispensing nozzle for gas stations with less than eight nozzles and two full service nozzles for stations with eight or more,” Lupinacci said. “So we are giving consumers a choice.”

Wayne Bombardiere, executive director of the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers Association in Inwood, said it’s about time.

“The town has been holding out wanting to stay old school,” he said. “But people would rather pump their own gas and save money.”

Bombardiere said he agreed with Lupinacci that consumers pay more at full service stations because the owners have to pay employees to dispense gas and lifting the ban would be good for consumers and the industry.

He said only New Jersey has all full-service stations. He said Oregon last year started allowing some self-service at certain stations in select counties.

“No one treats your car or home better than you do,” Bombardiere said. “This gives consumers more control and options and it should lead to better prices because labor costs will go down.”

The public hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 17 at town hall, 100 Main St.

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