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New York Gas Stations Fret Over Generator Conversion Costs

Some point out that the state grants aren’t enough to recoup the outlay for the additions.
November 22, 2013

​WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – Hundreds of gasoline stations situated by major highway exits or designated evacuation routes are concerned that state grants are not paying enough for generator conversions, The Journal News reports. New York is giving $10,000 to $30,000 grants as part of its Fuel NY initiative to help stations pay for generators and wiring for backup power usage during emergencies.

New York requires gas stations located within a half mile of hurricane evacuation routes or highway exits to have transfer switches for portable generators or to install a permanent generator by April 1. However, while $10,000 adequately covers the transfer switch work, $13,000 falls short for onsite generators.

“These guys have to pay for it, and some of them are complaining,” said Peter Kischak, president of the Service Station Dealers of Greater New York. The grants are supposed to cover generators to connect all gas dispensers, fuel pumps connected to underground tanks, basic lighting and cash registers. But the difficult part has been that electrical systems have become more interconnected and separating them has been hard, said Kischak. Another problem is that some stations have older systems that require updating prior to rewiring for generators.

However, the state is sticking by its grant decisions. “[Gas stations] can be up and fully running within the subsidy that’s provided by the state,” said state Sen. David Carlucci. “This is a mandate that is being backed up.”