Pre-Pay Gas Ordinance: One Month Later

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

Mixed reaction has swirled around this issue since it was initially passed by the City Commission last year.

Law enforcement and service station owners were in favor of the ordinance, thinking it would cut down on drive-offs, but some residents weren't so sure about the change.

"I think its because I know there have been so many drive-offs, that they're tired of losing money. They buy this gas and if people drive off they lose the money they have to, so I can understand them putting that in place."

Tina Long is one who has embraced the gas pre-payment ordinance whole-heartedly since it went into effect at the beginning of January. Now it seems that most Bowling Green citizens are following suit.

"Well, the whole process started out a little rocky. Customers are a little shaky with change. Things are very smoothed out now. Customers are in a habit. They understand the process now," says District Manager of Bowling Green Minit Marts, Wayne Simpson.

Bowling Green police officer, Barry Pruitt says, "We had two businesses on the first day of the month that we had a problem with but we were able to straighten out that misunderstanding, so everything's been going well."

Now that customers must pump before they pay. Simpson says they have been able to keep more of their focus on their customers inside the store, which is something that would make it hard to return to the days without the new system.

"We don't have to worry about a thief in the parking lot. We're not chasing bad guys down in the parking lot anymore, so it'd be quite difficult to go back."

Since the new ordinance has been put into place, service stations don't expect to see anymore gas drive-offs in the future.

"It’s actually a technological change in our system and there's no way a customer can fuel up unless they pay ahead of time in our stores."

Officer Pruitt notes that the management of several service stations he's talked with say that sales inside of their stores have increased as a result of the new ordinance.

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