Gas sales return to Harte

Lenore Rutherford, The Union Democrat /

Twain Harte's only gas station will soon be back in operation.

Wayne Smith, who owns the former Wayne's Twain Harte Shell with his wife, Lori, said the State Water Resources Control Board called last week to say his request for a grant to pay for state-mandated improvements was approved.

The money comes from California's Superfund, enacted to identify and

clean up sites that have been contaminated by hazardous substances. It

is paid for with a 2-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline.

Smith said he has been approved for roughly $50,000 in upgrades,

which include a required enhanced vapor recovery system, new pumps and

some underground work.

He said he needs county approval, approval from the region's

air-quality board, and receipt of the grant money before he'll know his

opening date.

He voluntarily stopped selling gasoline around the first of the

year, he said, because he couldn't afford the most recently required

upgrades.

He remained open at the 22890 Twain Harte Drive shop, however, doing auto repairs and maintenance.

He had upgraded his underground tanks in 1998, but new requirements

were added virtually every year, which meant more work and more money.

"It would almost be nice not to have the gas headache," he said,

"but I get lots of requests from the community, so we're going to do

it."

The station will no longer be a Shell station, though. It will be

unbranded, which means the Smiths can shop around for the best price.

"We will try real hard to be competitive," he said. "This is good news for the community."

Contact Lenore Rutherford at lrutherford@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585.

11820913
The Union Democrat
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