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    Change is in the Air

    Ohio councilman pushing bill that would require free air at gas stations.

    CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio -- Councilman John Schmidt thinks it's wrong to charge a fee for air. So he is proposing an ordinance in this Akron suburb that would require any new gas station or one that remodels to offer free air for tires.

    Nearly 20 years ago, Cuyahoga Falls adopted a law requiring businesses that sell gasoline to provide air for tires as well. But in recent years, some of them have started charging 25 cents to 50 cents to use the air pumps. Schmidt said air should be provided as a free service to consumers.

    But Roger Dreyer, president of the Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said air pumps are a frequent target of vandals, and some gas station owners attempt to recoup the expense by charging a small fee. The association opposes any bill that would cut into retailers' pockets.

    The association has some support. City Mayor Don Robart said he's not sure the city can impose such a requirement, and he would consider vetoing it. "I think (the proposal) is anti-business," he told the Associated Press. "And I think it's goofy."

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