Contrary to what New Canaan’s first selectman recently claimed, the owners of the Gulf station downtown say they haven’t reached any deal to sell to the town.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan “has been talking to us for two years about trying to buy it but we never came to anything,” according to Lenny Fugaro, a co-owner of the gas station and repair shop at 36 South Ave.
“Who knows, at some point we might sell to them if it ever came up to the right price,” Fugaro said. “We have no deal with the town at this point.”
He addressed a comment that Moynihan made during a pre-Republican Caucus debate on July 18. There, the first selectman said, “We’re working on a transaction—since there’s no press here—we’ve reached a deal to acquire the Gulf Station, to get the Gulf Station next to the library. That was a transaction people said couldn’t be done, and we have a deal to get it done.”
Moynihan’s comments drew wide criticism from readers upon publication, with many raising concerns about government transparency as well as the prospect of leaving the downtown with just one gas station. Fugaro said Moynihan’s assertion also has created worry among his workers and other business problems.
Fugaro and his co-owner purchased the .31-acre parcel three years ago for $4.7 million.
The prospect of the town buying the Gulf station first publicly emerged as a Board of Selectmen meeting in April. There, during a discussion about financing, Selectman Kathleen Corbet asked whether—should the town acquire the Gulf station property—the 1913 building still would need to be moved (yes). The prospect of a purchase emerged again at a selectmen meeting in July.