The Fayette Citizen-News Page
Friday, August 21, 1998
Gas tanks

Coweta Editor

The clock is ticking and the city of Senoia has just over three months to decide if it's going to stay in the gas business or not.

The city currently fills its vehicles from an underground gas tank near city hall. But new EPA regulations, which go into effect at the end of the year, stipulate the city must upgrade the tank or get rid of it.

Tank management representative Tom Bargo told the city council Monday night of two EPA-approved methods of upgrading the tank.

The first option would require a city employee to use a large pole and "stick" the tanks every day. The employee would record the amount of gas in the tanks and also take a reading from the pumps on the amount of gas used that day.

At the end of the month, Bargo said, the employee would use a rather complicated formula to determine if the tank was leaking. Although this option doesn't cost that much, Bargo said it has two main problems.

First, the city could only use this option for a limited time since the EPA terms this a temporary fix. Bargo estimated the city could probably use this method for another three or four years.

The second problem is the factor of human error.

"If you have one error during the month, it throws the whole system out," he said.

The second option for upgrading the tanks would be installing an automatic tank gauge that would provide daily readings for the city. The option costs nearly $7,000 and Bargo said the city has to determine if it's cost effective to keep the tank.

If the city chooses to get rid of the tank, Bargo said the tank would have to be destroyed and could not be sold, since the EPA is fearful that someone might drink out of the contaminated tank.

Mayor Joan Trammell asked the council to examine the options and get ready to make a decision before the new year arrives. Earlier in the year, another representative of a fuel management system had addressed the council. Trammell instructed City Clerk Betty Cookman to get back in touch with the representative to make another presentation to the city.

A fuel management system provides the city with fuel cards that can be used at participating merchants and also provides municipalities with monthly reports on fuel usage.

In other news, the council tabled a request for a sign permit at Barnacle Bob's restaurant at the intersection of Ga. Hwys. 16 and 85. The restaurant currently has a blinking sign outside and wants to keep the sign. Since the restaurant changed hands, the sign is no longer "grandfathered" under the old laws which permitted blinking signs and has to have a new permit.

Trammell asked the council to table it since City Attorney Kemp Wright was not at the meeting, but made her feelings clear on the sign.

"It's really not displaying the type of historical image that we want and I don't want to set a precedent for the future by allowing it," she said.

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