Originally published in the Owen Sound Sun Times, August 17, 2005.
Gas isn’t really being given away for free at the Esso station in Springmount.
The tall Esso sign outside the station reads 0 where the price would normally be shown, but gas was actually being sold for $1.029 per litre Tuesday morning.
The problem is that the sign, like at many other local stations, is not equipped to show a gas price higher than 99.9 cents. There’s room only for two digits to the left of the fixed decimal point and one to the right.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with these signs,” said station manager Ben Vollering, noting the sign was built when gas selling for $1 per litre was not a concept people were willing to consider.
“Nobody was thinking that far ahead. We’re in Canada, it’s a litre, it’s cheap,” he said. “Not anymore. Those days are gone.”