Proposed Law for Generators at Gas Stations and Grocery Stores

Gas was a precious resource during storms like Sandy, Irene and the October nor'easter, and now there is more concern about  power outages throughout the region as a winter storm approaches.

State Senator John Kissel is proposing a bill that would give owners of gas stations and supermarkets a tax break to purchase a generator.

"When people realize it takes an hour, two hours, three hours, four hours, to get gas in their car, that really heightens their concerns," said Kissel, who represents Enfield and parts of north central Connecticut.

He said he came up with the idea from a constituent, James Lagana of Enfield, who waited like so many others in long gas lines after Sandy struck. Lagana thinks it would be helpful to have gas stations open, along with grocery stores and pharmacies.

"So that no matter how bad the storm is, if the electricity is out, we can get to a gas station, we can get gas for our cars, and we can get gas for our generators," Lagana said.

Senator Kissel said past attempts to require these types of businesses to get generators have gone nowhere.

"That's pushing the cost off of them," Kissel said. "If the state could be a good partner and incent them and let the gas stations make their own decisions in the best interests of their own business.

Ray manages the Mobil at Long Wharf in New Haven. He refused to give his last name, but said while he likes the idea of an emergency generator, he's not sure about the senator's plan.

"I think everyone has their own thinking, but most of them are business-minded," he said, referring to other gas station owners. "If they want to buy and there's a permanent tax break, then of course they'd take it. But if the incentive is 50 percent, then of course I'd buy it."

There's a public hearing on this emergency generator proposal on Thursday at the State Capitol.

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