At the March 4, 2014 Board of Selectmen meeting Town Manager Blythe Robinson posed to the board the possibility of changing the bylaws to allow for self-service gas stations. Currently under Chapter 4 in the General Bylaws Upton does not allow for self-service gas stations.
Robinson said the recommendation for change is coming from Upton Fire/EMS Chief Ron Goodale. Chief Goodale recommends striking the bylaw completely or making changes to the bylaw so it will be aligned with the state’s fire prevention regulations. Robin said there is equipment and technology Upton does not have at gas stations in town because of the no self-serve bylaw.
In February the Upton Fire Department responded to a gasoline spill consisting of a couple of gallons at a station. Robinson said this may have been prevented if there had been up to date technology. “That is really what is driving this.” said Robinson.
Robinson was looking for some feedback from board members to determine if this is something the town should investigate further.
Chair Jim Brochu said, “If a self-service gas station wants to come into town it allows them to come in and they are required to put in more protective items within their stations to provide for spill protection and protection overall.”
Robinson responded, “So people who don’t run gas stations every day, all of us, are able to successfully fill their fuel tank without having a spill.”
Member Bob Fleming said he didn’t recall how the town came to not allowing self-service, “It has always been there.” Regarding making the bylaw change Fleming said, “I think it make sense….I’m not adverse to it. I think it’s something we need to move forward on.”
There were questions on whether the town would strike the current law and the state law would prevail or if this was something the town would need to create on their own.
“I’m always in favor of adopting what the state has already done for us,” member Picard said regarding the option of just adopting the state law versus creating something new.
Robinson will do additional research on making the change. “Lets take it to the next logical stop,” said Robinson.