Oct 24, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Seeking to upgrade its equipment and retain its competitive business edge in Cazenovia, Red Apple gas station has begun the permit process to undertake a construction program to upgrade its gas pumps, gas tanks and station canopy at its Albany Street location.
The changes, if approved and allowed by the village planning board, will make the gas station more environmentally friendly, more aesthetically pleasing and, perhaps most important for its customers, more spacious and accessible for cars in between its gas pumps.
“This is definitely a huge step forward,” said W. Jason Cook, project manager for United Refining Company, of Warren, Penn., which owns the Kwik Fill gas station chain. Cook was not at the Oct. 14 planning board meeting during which the project was presented, but spoke with the Cazenovia Republican by phone. “All of our stations are on a profitability list, and [Cazenovia] is one of our more profitable locations. Also, all the other [gas stations in Cazenovia] have been upgraded, so why shouldn’t we?”
The upgrade project, initially presented to the village planning board during its recent meeting, will include removing the underground petroleum steel tanks currently at the site and replacing them with three brand new double-walled fiberglass tanks that are more environmentally friendly, longer lasting and less likely to cause ground contamination, Cook said. There will also be double-walled fiberglass piping running to the tanks.
The gas station islands will also be totally replaced with brand new pumps that will be spaced twice as far apart as they currently are to allow more access room for cars and trucks — something Cook acknowledged has been an issue at the Red Apple. The pumps also will have improved encryption systems for the pay-at-the-pump option, which will make them more secure for credit card transactions, he said.
Finally, the company will install a new canopy over the pump islands that will “give the entire location a facelift and make it more appealing to public,” but there will be no new signage or extra illumination on the canopy, said Bob Grock, a representative of Northeast Petroleum, the contractor hired to do the work, who appeared before the planning board last week. The new canopy will also have LED lighting and a fire suppression system.
Grock also said the entire Red Apple lot will be repaved with the same number of spaces as currently there, although he was unsure if plans called for any spaces to be striped.
Cook said the timeline for the project is currently uncertain, being dependent on the receipt of village work permits, but United Petroleum would like to have the project started and completed as soon as possible. They hope to start this year before the onset of winter, with the work expected to take weeks rather than months, he said.
“We’d like to get it all done as quickly as we can; we don’t want to inconvenience the locals,” Cook said. “The least amount of downtime, the better for everybody.”
When the work begins, the gas pumps will be closed. It is currently undecided if the convenience store will remain open throughout the construction process, he said.
Village Planning Board Chair Rich Huftalen said the project will “definitely” require review by the village engineer, John Dunkle. He also suggested that United Refining work with the village Historic Preservation/Architectural Advisory Review Committee, which worked closely with Tops on their recent gas station project in the Town and Country Plaza, and can advise the company on the committee’s typical recommendations for such projects.
The Red Apple upgrade project is only at the very beginning permit stages at this time, and has not yet submitted its project plans to the planning board, according to the file. The proposal may be discussed at the next planning board meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, if United Refining requests to be placed on the agenda.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.