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Oct 29, 2019 4:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecock Indian Nation Plans To Build Two Gas Stations On Tribal Land

The Shinnecock Indian Nation is planning to construct a gas station near its billboard site along Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Oct 29, 2019 4:55 PM

The Shinnecock Indian Nation is progressing with plans to construct and operate two gas stations on tribal land, one along Sunrise Highway at its Westwoods property, and one along Montauk Highway on its 800-acre Shinnecock Neck territory.

Several tribal leaders formed a company within the Shinnecock Sovereign Holdings, a tax-exempt tribal corporation, that will conduct research and planning related to the gas stations, Tribal Council Vice Chairman Lance A. Gumbs confirmed this week.

Gas sold on Native American reservations is not subject to state taxes, allowing it to be sold at cheaper rates than what is offered at other gas stations.

The Nation has been looking to build gas stations for years, Mr. Gumbs said, as a way to boost the tribal economy. Not only would the new businesses attract more revenue, but the low prices would make them strong competition to surrounding gas stations as well.

Mr. Gumbs said that they have completed the planning process for the gas station on Montauk Highway and are now deciding on an exact location to break ground. Plans on Sunrise Highway, at a narrow parcel of land in Hampton Bays, may become more complicated, as the State Department of Transportation claims to have authority over the site. The parcel is a state highway right-of-way in addition to being tribal land.

“For the highway plans, it’s another whole issue and, again, it goes back to dealing with the DOT and all of that stuff,” Mr. Gumbs said.

Earlier this year, the Nation began constructing two 61-foot-tall electronic billboards at the same site on Sunrise Highway and were sued by the State DOT for not obtaining state work permits for the project. Tribal leaders claimed that their federal recognition meant that they did not have to obtain approvals from the state for work on tribal land.

The issue may arise again if the Nation constructs a gas station along the highway without state permits. When asked whether he anticipated the same problem, Mr. Gumbs said, “Who knows? Those things have to be worked through.”

Last Friday, the State DOT said that it had “not been notified by the Shinnecock Nation of any plans to erect a new facility on Sunrise Highway.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he is supportive of the Nation’s plans, while also acknowledging the competition they would pose to other gas stations in the town.

“I think it’s an economic development plan that will be a strong revenue generator for the Shinnecock Nation, but also offers a benefit to the rest of the community by providing low-cost gasoline,” the supervisor said.

“It’s something that they’re allowed to do,” he continued. “Their selling cigarettes causes competition to other stores that sell cigarettes. They sell those cigarettes at a reduced rate, too, because of taxation.”

He noted that the Nation had not met with the town to discuss such plans, “but I’ve said in the past that I would support the gas station, and I continue to support it.”

Tribal Council Chairman Bryan Polite and Secretary Daniel Collins Sr., the tribal leaders involved with the gas station plans, did not respond to requests for information.

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Oh Thank Christ !!!!!!!!
Fill Er' Up !!!!!!!!!!!
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Oct 30, 19 8:07 AM
I think the Nation is testing the waters for the casino with out state approval- just like the advertising billboards... Stay tuned.
By Triumph67 (4), Sag harbor on Oct 30, 19 8:12 AM
2 members liked this comment
Kind of late to the game 27east. Snoozeday informed us about this on Oct 17. That article states "Schneiderman said "initial shock" about the billboards has subsided and "I'm not objecting" to them." Great to finally know your true position on the issue. Just another reason NOT to vote for you!

A gas station on Sunrise. How? The Westwoods property that intersects with the highway is pretty narrow. How can you put an on and off ramp to/from a high speed highway along with a 61' sign in ...more
By longtimelocal (59), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 8:23 AM
Perhaps the "right of way" is a rest stop...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 31, 19 11:16 PM
But not late in the game for Schneiderman to chase the Shinnecock vote by saying he's all for it!
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 3, 19 2:43 PM
Together with the new Southampton Hospital, that stretch of Montauk Hwy is in for a crunch.
By pat paulsen (7), southampton on Oct 30, 19 8:34 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By powerwalker (52), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 9:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
That’s a vile comment
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 9:20 AM
My initial shock at the billboards has not subsided Jay
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 9:22 AM
Love them! I look forward to seeing the different ads and positive messages daily. Go Nation!!!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Oct 30, 19 3:23 PM
When will the different ads be coming? I expected them already.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 3, 19 2:40 PM
Just in time for the Electric Cars and Trucks everyone will be driving when this project finally gets built.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Oct 30, 19 9:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
Wishful thinking, but yeah, this is a very short-sighted and ill-conceived plan by the Shinnecocks. Kinda sad tbh
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Oct 30, 19 9:36 AM
EV's that charge are going to be like the Compact Disc. They were around for a few years until MP3s came out.

Hydrogen fueled EV's are going to be the MP3. Hyundai has test models in California. They are also testing a Hydrogen fueled EV tractor trailer.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 10:58 AM
Will the whole tribe benefit or only a select few?
By RUOK2 (15), Water Mill on Oct 30, 19 11:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
By Preliator Lives (437), Obamavillie on Oct 30, 19 12:02 PM
Ill buy gas there all the time. The price gouging on the south fork is out of control as well as the state taxes in NY.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 30, 19 2:37 PM
I'll believe that it will be 'cheap' when I see it.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 3, 19 2:41 PM
It will never happen. The state wont give access off the sunrise hwy.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 30, 19 3:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Montauk Hwy. one I could definitely see them doing. As it would actually be on the reservation. It would be a good idea. But yes you're right. They will be lucky if NYDOT lets them keep the one existing billboard on sunrise. It is obvious now that there is a good chance NYDOT has the right enforce laws on that property or else why would they have halted construction on the second one if the law doesn't apply to them?
By rrrglynnn (23), Hampton Bays on Oct 30, 19 4:52 PM
What next?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 4:01 PM
Cannabis, I'd imagine.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 30, 19 4:04 PM
Fracking of course! Time to tap those vast Long Island shale reserves. ��
By nobody200 (17), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 5:37 PM
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 30, 19 4:04 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 30, 19 6:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Fine but no bonfires at the site of the gas stations, please.
By even fIow (60), Westhampton Beach on Oct 31, 19 10:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Cheap gasoline will have a lot of support from drivers.
By Seajay (12), East Quogue on Oct 31, 19 12:48 PM
It’s possible that construction on the second billboard has stopped because of DOT rules. It’s also possible that it stopped because the billboards’ financial backers aren’t seeing a stampede of advertisers rushing to get on the first one.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 31, 19 8:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
The project was stopped because the State owns the land. How it went this far is a farce. A ststion on the RES is their choice. Think it would be for the res not a few people..
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Nov 2, 19 9:19 AM
I LOVE traveling to the Poospatuck Reservation in Mastic or my $2.08/Gal. Regular 87 Octane fuel!! This will cut that trip out and I expect massive savings that will hopefully put the local Shell, 76, Mobil, and Safeway stations out of business or force them to drop their price gauging prices significantly.
I was recently at the Safeway (formerly HESS) station on Sunrise service rd West and Wading River Rd. and questioned the staff why the regular was 2.67/gal while everyone else was 2.41/gal. ...more
By DisgustedHamptons (58), Hampton Bays on Nov 4, 19 1:53 AM
It’s a speedway. Safeway is a grocery store chain.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Nov 4, 19 7:11 PM
Don't the other gas stations pay taxes which the Indians do not? I agree that the price spread on various gas stations is ridiculous, but they won't be able to compete when they have to pass along taxes that the others don't. Costco was $2.35 last time I was there.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 6, 19 10:54 AM
Wow! What happened to all the ads on the billboard. Looks like they are down to a PSA, an immigration services, and an employment ad. Not even seeing the res business ads. I thought that they were being "comped" by Iconic, but I guess not. Can't believe that's even paying for the diesel fuel to power the generator. Guess the advertisers are hearing about it from the locals. Keep up the good work.
By longtimelocal (59), Southampton on Nov 5, 19 2:52 PM
1 member liked this comment