Aug. 13–WARRENSBURG — The era of full-service gas stations ended in Warrensburg on Aug. 2 when Buzzanga’s BP Service, 422 N. Maguire St., stopped selling gas.
Owner Keith Buzzanga said the pumps were removed and the underground storage tanks will either be removed or filled with a concrete substance to meet environmental regulations.
Customers will not find another gas station in Johnson County where an attendant will pump the gas, check the oil, air up the tires and clean the windshield.
“We’re one of the last ones to go,” Buzzanga said. “I’ve wanted to do it for several years, but I had a customer base I wanted to take care of.”
Those were long-time customers, mostly women who grew up when most stations offered full service or who no longer had husbands or other family members who would pump the gas for them, he said.
“That’s what kept me going all this time … to help these people out,” he said.
Buzzanga, who bought the station in 2002 from Mark Reynolds, whose family owned it since 1966, said he had worked at the station while he was in high school and college.
I left for a bit and came back,” he said, adding he has been serving some of the same customers he served during his high school days.
“Some have been coming here for 30 years,” he said.
“That’s the big reason I kept selling (gas),” he said, even though it had become financially unfeasible to continue.
“It actually cost me money to sell gas,” Buzzanga said.
When a customer used a credit card to buy gas, he said, he lost 5 to 6 cents a gallon. The pumps also needed to be repaired, he had to maintain insurance and perform required environmental tests every year and maintain the system, all at a cost he could not recoup.
The credit card company was requiring an update, the dispensers also needed updating and the underground tanks, installed in the 1980s, also are aging, he said, which all would require large expenses.
I wasn’t going to put a lot of money into it to keep it going,” he said. “When you have to pay to do it, it’s not worth doing. It used to be something you could do on the side and make a little money. You have to have high volume to make it in the gas business these days.”
In addition to the full-service pumps, the station also had self-service pumps.
When college students drove in, Buzzanga directed them to the self-service pumps, where gas was priced a little cheaper.
“The college kids had no idea what full service is,” he said. “It’s definitely a thing of the past.”
Buzzanga said taking out the gas pumps means he now can devote more time to his vehicle repair and towing business.
“I hope I can get people in and out quicker,” he said.
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