Opunake residents are pumped at the news their petrol station is staying open for business.
Paul and Christine Snowdon, who have owned Bell Block Motors for 12 years, on Monday opened Opunake Motors after Allied Petroleum approached them to save the town's petrol station.
"Allied leases the whole site off Wayne Gopperth and in turn we lease the petrol station off Allied," Mrs Snowdon said.
RD1 used to occupy the whole site and run the petrol pumps but after buying out Taranaki Farmers several months ago they have now left the building and moved up the street.
Mrs Snowdon says Allied offered the lease to run the petrol station to several Opunake people but didn't have any luck, so approached them.
"We weren't too keen because we're incredibly busy at Bell Block, and in the middle of doing it up, but they pleaded, so we decided to give it a go," she said.
Opunake Motors is open seven days a week from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 8pm on the weekend.
Mrs Snowdon said locals were telling them how excited they were the petrol station will be back operating full time.
A former employee of the petrol station is continuing and there is space for another two staff that Mrs Snowdon says will be sought from Opunake.
"There are job opportunities and we're happy with the numbers coming through already this week so hopefully it will continue and we'll be kept busy," she said.
Either Mrs Snowdon or her husband will be at the Opunake station each day while the other will remain at their Bell Block business.
"We're looking at finding a house down here to be able to stay at, and to offer room to our employees if they ever need it," she said.
At this stage there were no plans for the building space alongside the petrol station.
"There's been suggestions of a hardware store and a laundromat but the lease is quite high, in fact it's just as high as New Plymouth, so we're not sure what will happen," Mrs Snowdon said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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