Mullis will discontinue sale of gas at service station

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Last modified 7/18/2008 – 2:19 am New regulations, old pumps
contribute to decision to end sales.

By WENDI ZONGKER, My Nassau Sun

FERNANDINA BEACH – Mullis Exxon Service Station, which has been
a downtown landmark for 38 years, will stop selling gas next month,
citing new regulations and old pumps as the reasons.

However, the popular T-Rays Burger Station restaurant inside the
gas station at Eighth and Beech streets will continue on.

T-Ray Mullis, son of station owner Ray Mullis, said crews will
begin taking out gas tanks at the station Aug. 4.

“The new Environmental Protection Agency regulations are coming
out that fiberglass tanks aren’t good enough anymore,” he said.
“Now they have to be double fiberglass, a tank within a tank.”

Mullis estimated it would cost $250,000 to replace the
tanks.

But that isn’t the only problem for the decades-old gas
station.

To stay in business, Mullis said the station also would have to
install new gas pumps. The current pumps don’t read past $3.99 a
gallon.

Mullis said it would cost $10,000 each to replace the six
pumps.

“The cost is just way too much,” he said. “The profit for gas is
basically none at $4 a gallon. My grandchildren would never be able
to pay for those tanks if I put them in.”

Mullis said he hasn’t heard many people saying they’re upset
about the gas station shutting down because people are buying gas
wherever they can get it the cheapest.

“But some of our older customers are upset,” he said. “Some of
them have been pumping gas here for 40 years.”

His wife, Laura Mullis, said it’s a shame they have to shut
down the gas station.

But she’s trying to be optimistic.

“I want it to be something positive for him,” she said about her
father-in-law. “Now he can focus on the restaurant. T-Rays is still
going to be here. We just won’t be selling gas.” Good ’til the
last drop!

All gas at Mullis Exxon Service Station will be on sale for $3.79 a
gallon from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today. The station is closed on
Sunday, but will resume selling gas at that price from 7 a.m. to 4
p.m. Monday or until tanks are empty.

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/071908/nen_305770565.shtml

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