×

Village Mobil update

  • The Village Mobil in New Ipswich has a convenience store and two-booth mechanic's garage that have remained open while awaiting a springtime re-opening of the gas pumps. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • The Village Mobil in New Ipswich has a convenience store and two-booth mechanic's garage that have remained open while awaiting a springtime re-opening of the gas pumps. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 7:43AM

Improvements to New Ipswich’s Village Mobil have been held up due to “red tape,” its owner says.

According to Rod Nichols, he has spent about two-and-a-half years trying to get the work done to replace the station’s tanks and pumps to meet new standards from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. He hopes it will be open for business again in the spring.

“What it comes down to right now, we need the state, my contractor, my contractor’s engineer to figure it out so we can get it done together,” he said.

The state’s deadline for meeting the new double-wall standards, ensuring extra protection against possible leaks, was this year, but the project has not gone as smoothly as Nichols had hoped.

He said there was no grandfathering policy that would have allowed existing equipment to continue but required new equipment. For this reason, he had to replace his tanks despite their proper function.

They were last replaced in 1993 and have a 30-year warranty. Village Mobil had to replace its tanks after only 23 years.

“Instead of grandfathering a rule, they make you change it. Everyone was in the same boat,” he said. “Even though they were not leaking or anything, their future quality could not be ensured.”

Nichols said there have been leaks and pollution at the Village Mobil site in the past, but DES examination shows no new pollution in his time as owner and the project is purely regulatory.

“I’m following all the laws and rules and regulations, but it’s hard, it’s so much different than it used to be, it really comes down to red tape,” he said.

The 1993 work was completed in its entirety in less than a month, according to Nichols, who was the local operator of the site at the time before becoming owner in 1997. Work began on this project on July 11, after planning started nearly three years ago.

He said that the work will go quickly once it starts, and hopes for a spring re-opening.

He could not say what the project and lost business would cost.

The site remains open, just not for pumping gas.

“I’m very, very frustrated,” he said. “I’m just a local small business guy just struggling to get by, I can’t afford all this downtime.”