HEMPSTEAD - A company that maintains compressed air machines in the Town of Hempstead says a new law allowing free air at gas stations will hurt their business.
SSVE, a company that manufactures, installs and maintains the air machines, says it has been operating in Hempstead for 33 years.
Bill McCabe, president of SSVE, owns about 100 air machines in the town. He says he splits the revenue with gas station owners and makes sure they are working properly. He says the law will cause station owners to lose money because each machine costs $1,000.
The Long Island Gas Retailers Association agrees.
"As a service station owner in another town, I go through maybe 4, 5 hoses a year. The hoses are approximately $140 for those air towers," says Andy Harris, of the LIGRA.
Since the machines require a lot of maintenance, McCabe worries that station owners may neglect to keep them running all the time.
"The margins are tight here," says McCabe. "These guys don't make a lot of money."
The Town of Hempstead says it always required free air at stations, but only if drivers asked for it.
The new "free air" rules in Hempstead go into effect Oct 1.