No news on gas station closure

WILMINGTON – There’s still no word as to when exactly this community’s only gas station will close.

The Wilson Farms convenience store and Sunoco gas station, located on state Route 86, was originally slated to close April 9, but 7-Eleven Inc. has since delayed the closure indefinitely to “facilitate other options” for the store and its employees, according to Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications for 7-Eleven.

Asked this week when the store will close and why, Chabris said, “We thought we would have more info (Tuesday), but we didn’t get what we needed.” She said 7-Eleven can’t answer additional questions about the closure until it gets more information “from outside the company.

“We do not own this property,” Chabris noted.

The property itself is owned by Phil Saunders, and the fuel is owned by Schmitt Sales of western New York. 7-Eleven owns the convenience store business.

Wilmington town Supervisor Randy Preston has said there was an unresolved fuel spill at the site. (Editor’s note: The prior sentence has been corrected.) Chabris said the spill “has nothing to do with the closure of this store.

“There was a spill in 2008 that, according to the (state) Department of Environmental Conservation, for which the commission fuel-operator, Schmitt, was the responsible party for,” she said.

The pending closure will impact five employees who live in and around Wilmington, according to the store’s manager, Belinda Ouimette.

“They’re going to try to find jobs elsewhere,” she said. “Out of all of us, there is three people here that are single moms, and then there’s another elderly lady that works here. All of my employees have been here long term. They depend on a paycheck, and they can’t survive without it.”

When the business officially closes, locals and visitors will be forced to travel 12 miles to Lake Placid or 5 miles to Jay to fill their tanks.