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