Not all West Allis aldermen are pumped about prepay gas rule

Photo By Kristyna Wentz-Graff

Oct. 9, 2012

West Allis - The West Allis Common Council will at least reconsider its decision about whether gas stations in the city should be required to have patrons prepay before pumping gas.

Some aldermen were not present when the council debated the point and decided to adopt such a rule in September. They're not so sure the decision was the right one.

"We're making criminals out of businessmen in our community," Ald. Marty Weigel said.

Similarly, Ald. Vincent Vitale said he isn't sure, either, if mandatory prepay is appropriate.

"The council should have had more information," Vitale said.

The council sent the proposal back to committee.

The Police Department requested the restriction because patrol officers have to respond to so many gas thefts. The count was nearly 700 from 2006 through 2011, Deputy Police Chief Bob Fletcher said.

Under the ordinance passed last month, gas stations that fail or refuse to convert pumps for prepay will risk loss of their business licenses. Short of that, police will no longer investigate gas thefts where prepayment is not required.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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