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Rutter's to open in Waynesboro after long fight

July 28, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Gasoline is in the underground tanks, shelves were being stocked with inventory Wednesday, workers were finishing up last-minute jobs and Kayla Pepple, 16, was "staging" meat.

Waynesboro's new Rutter's Farm Store opens around noon today on the corner of South Potomac and West Third streets.

Construction on the gas/convenience store began about four months ago with the demolition of the former Brake Pontiac-Cadillac dealership that once occupied the corner.

Rutter's bought the property from Waynesboro developer Ronnie Martin.

The project saw heavy opposition from neighbors who tried unsuccessfully to get it stopped through appeals to the Waynesboro Borough Council.

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Roy Tressler of 121 W. Third St. was a leader in the opposition movement.

"They won't get any of my money," he said this week upon learning of today's opening.

"My position has always been that I didn't mind it being developed. Anything there is an improvement over what was there before," he said.

What he didn't want, he said, was for it to be open 24 hours a day because of the lights that would shine in the neighborhood all night.

During the permitting process, Tressler and his neighbors said they opposed the facility because of the light, noise and traffic it would generate at what they claimed is one of Waynesboro's busiest intersections.

Jeff Leedy, vice president of marketing for Rutter's, was at the station Wednesday overseeing last-minute preparations for today's opening.

"There never has been a Rutter's in Waynesboro," Leedy said, adding that once the community sees how the company operates, things will change.

"We've been operating for 50 years in York (Pa.,) and were good neighbors there. We'll be good neighbors in Waynesboro," he said.

Leedy said the station should open around lunch today.

"When the gas prices are posted, you'll know we're open," he said.

Drivers will find gas prices cheaper at Rutter's today than anywhere else in the Waynesboro area, he said.

Leedy declined to say how much lower, only that it was an "introductory offer" in celebration of the station opening.

The station has entrances on South Potomac and West Third streets and Philadelphia Avenue.

The store's manager is Debbie Lee of Mont Alto, Pa.

Rutter's is still looking for employees and has scheduled a job fair at the Waynesboro store on Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lee said.

"We're always looking for good employees," Leedy said. He declined to state the salary range.

Pepple, of Waynesboro, was one of several new employees in the store Wednesday getting it ready for today.

She was staging, or rolling, sliced cold meat in preparation for sandwiches, she said.

"I'm cross-trained to work the cash registers, too," she said.

Calley Hebb, 19, of Waynesboro, jumped the gun a little Wednesday when she came to work in her new red Rutter's polo shirt, the shirt all Rutter's employees wear.

"I'll be working in the deli," she said. "The people here have been very nice so far."

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