Carnegie Firefighters, Business Owner Square Off Over Christmas Tree Sale

CARNEGIE (KDKA) — At the Carnegie Exxon station, owner Tom Snyder says business has been on the slow side.

“So far, we’ve probably lost a couple hundred gallons a day,” he said.

Andy Sheehan: “And that’s a big hit?”

Snyder: “That’s a big hit, yes it is.”

Business is down according to Snyder because the volunteer fire department has closed down an access street for its annual Christmas tree sale, which the firefighters say is necessary for them to stay in operation.

Assistant Fire Chief Todd Scott says money generated by the sale benefits everyone in the borough.

“This is what I don’t understand,” he said. “We volunteer our time. We risk our lives to save people’s property and lives and we go to have a fund raiser and this is what happens.”

“All I want is one lane of traffic for my business and I’m satisfied,” Snyder said.

Snyder says he reached an agreement with the borough to open one lane to traffic but that the firefighters are ignoring that and painting him as the bad guy.
“I don’t want to go to court, but we have no other choice,” he said.

On Monday, the whole matter ended up before Judge Judith Friedman who denied Snyder an injunction against the firefighters and told the borough to work out an agreement.

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan spoke to Jeff Harbin, the police chief and borough manager.

Sheehan: “Should cooler heads prevail here?”

Harbin: “Absolutely, I think hopefully that is the goal that we could come up with some sort of compromise that can work out for the welfare of everybody – both Mr. Snyder and the fire department trying to sell their Christmas trees.”

Sheehan: “You hopeful of this in the spirit of Christmas?”

Harbin: “Absolutely.”

It is less than three weeks until Christmas and time is short for goodwill to prevail.

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  • Terri

    I can understand the frustration on both sides. the owner of the service station is just trying to run his business. i don’t believe he is purposely trying to be a scrooge. the firemen need to put themselves in his place. i believe any business owner would understand how the owner of the business must feel. he is losing alot of money. on the other hand, i understand the firemen need to raise money for the firehall and selling christmas trees is how they raise money at this time of year. i hope everything works out between the two sides and open one lane of the road so the firemen can still sell their trees and the business owner can sell his fuel then everyone is happy. Merry Christmas!

    • frog

      there are more than one way to get to this gas station. By the way its not between the VFD and Snyders he took the boro to court and lost.
      One lane…open someone can get hurt…

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  • Linda

    Its not right for the Fire Department to block this mans’ gas business and I’m sure there’s enough people in the area to buy all the Christmas Trees from both parties.

  • bruceUSA

    Block the firehouse driveways during a fire call and see what happens!!! I think the firemen need to be a little more accommodating. After all this is a man’s business not his hobby. And I support my local volunteer fire company with a check every year. Merry Christmas to all !

    • frog

      The gas station is not being blocked. come to Carnegie and see for your self!!!

      • rabbit

        A Hobby as a fire fighter…what hobby can you lose your life helping someone else.

    • rabbit

      A Hobby…..What hobby can take your life?????????????

    • Fireman

      Guys that always wanted to be cops but are too stupid

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  • 3kalb

    That’s not the only way to the gas station. If people truly want to buy gas there, they still can. This has never been an issue in the past. Let those selfless, nonprofitable firefighters sell their trees ONE month of the year to keep themselves running to keep their town safe. God forbid if anything were to ever happen at the gas station causing a call to 911 for their service, then his mindset would be different.

    • 3kalb

      I may also add that $200 dollars as a major loss is a joke! That’s the equivalent to a few less people filling up their tanks that month…idiot.

  • gman

    Don`t gas station owners typically tell the media that they`re only making a few cents on the gallon anyway? The real money is made selling junk food and slurpees.

  • confused

    Thank you 3kalb. There is more than one way to reach this gas station. There are two routes from both direction on main street to get this gas station.You can also reach is by going off of Corathers. Half the time this gas station is higher than the surrounding stations. It also sometime blocked by patrons at the FOE. This has not been an issue in the past several years, why all of a sudden is this an issue now???

    • 3kalb

      Exxon is always significantly higher despite where it’s located. Being in Carnegie makes it even harder to sell gas because of the surrounding stations with cheaper gas. Plus, Exxon doesn’t offer what Sunoco and Get Go do with Fuel perks. This is just a joke is what it is.

  • frog

    WAIT A MINUTE.. The trees are not blocking this mans gas station. There are atleast 3 more ways to get to Snyders. Does he have sour grapes against the boro because he lost the mayor’s race by a land slide.
    Come on 100+ gallons a day…be realistic. that seems like a lot of hooey.
    Bah Hum Bug to T. Snyder!!!

  • Mayor of GBD

    BUT the trees ARE blocking a public street. Did the fire company apply for and receive a permit from Carnegie to close the street? Laws and procedures apply to everyone.

    • 3kalb

      Who cares? Obviously it’s okay since the judge took no actions. AGAIN, this isn’t the first year of the fundraiser. It’s been going on the SAME way on the SAME street for years. There is absolutely no proof or reasoning for that street being the cause of him losing a minuscule amount of $200.

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