ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- The Route 130 gas station in Windsor that has been under construction for years fueled a heated back-and-forth between Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried and family representatives of EZ Auto Service who own the property at Thursday night's Township Council meeting,
Calling the stalled gas station the "number one complaint that we hear from the Windsor part of town," Fried took the property owners to task for the numerous delays in completing the site and maintaining it.
"My expectation is that we get this thing done, that you agree to the schedule we set up and you meet that schedule," said Fried. "Residents have been dealing with a half built gas station in their backyard for two years."
According to Township officials, EZ Auto Services submitted plans for the gas station with two service bays more than four years ago. After construction was underway, including burying the fuel tanks and digging footings, the company sought township permits to add a convenience store element in 2016. The site has seen little further construction; but the condition of the property led to the Township issuing a citation for failure to maintain the grass which allegedly had grown almost three feet high.
On March 4, property owners submitted a new plan for Township approval for a combination Bagel Fresh/EZ Automotive convenience store located at 2 Church Street adjacent to the gas station.
Township officials contend that plans for the amended property have not yet been approved since the owners "still have a long checklist of obligations" to address prior to approval being given by the construction and planning and zoning departments. However, the permit for foundation and footings "is ready pending payment and pickup by EZ Automotive" who is responsible for paying municipal fees for permitting relative to the proposed convenience store proposal.
The son of the property owner, Sikander Ranu, pushed back at the public council meeting saying that this project has caused "suffering" to his father.
"We're a small business. We've been pushing to get this done," said Ranu's son. "We've faced unfair push back for reasons that are out of our control."
While Ranu claimed that documents had been lost by the Township which caused them to be redone, further stalling construction, Fried disagreed and countered him by saying that phone calls and emails to the business have routinely not been returned and there were numerous delays in completing documents and paying necessary fees.
Fried pledged to meet with the owners and the Township's construction officials to resolve outstanding matters in order to finalize the project according to an agreed upon timeline.
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Elizabeth Meyers and tell her about it.