By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Unauthorized use of the gas tank behind the city’s fire station has been one city councilman’s pet peeves. One man recently was charged with larceny for taking gas from the tank, and another has a warrant for his arrest.
“I lobbied against it before I took office and then after I was elected,” Councilman Dennis Hayes said. “I finally just got tired of hearing myself talk.”
Resident Anthony Scannell, 20, was arranged on the larceny charge. A police detective said Scannell told investigators that another man told him how to get gas from the pump. The other man — a 21-year-old resident who unsuccessfully ran for city council and is in the process of joining the priesthood — has a warrant for his arrest in connection with the case.
“The pump is routinely unlocked,” Hayes said, noting that as of last week a unlocked chain secured the fence where the pump stands.
Hayes said he went to the post office and saw “youngsters filling up their cars.”
“The city spends $20,000 a year on gasoline for their vehicles,” Hayes said. “This city is strapped, we can’t afford to give away a tank a night or 10 tanks a night.”
Tom Wilson, Department of Public Service/Department of Public Works Director agreed.
“The first thing we need to do is examine the condition of the fueling system and monitor the fuel levels in the tank,” he said.
Wilson said there are three solutions that the city is investigating.
“One is digitally tracking the fuel going into a particular vehicle,” Wilson said. “Another is locking the gate and turning the power off to the pump at certain times.”
Wilson said the city also is considering placing a code on the pump where DPW workers, police and fire can always access the pump.
Hayes’ displeasure with the unlocked pump, however, drew fire from Councilman Harry Sisko during an Oct. 28, meeting when Sisko said councilors should be careful when making such allegations as Hayes made.
“I would like to know if this is an absolute fact or hyperbole just to make a point,” Sisko said of the incident. “I don’t believe that happened.”
Yet, in light of larceny charges from the pump, Hayes hopes for an apology from Sisko, noting that the larceny charges prove that people have been stealing gas.