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Tire business wants to get rolling in Bernardston

  • Alex and Amy Fiorey were granted a special permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals Dec. 7 to open Pioneer Valley Tire at 22 South St. in Bernardston. Recorder Staff/Shelby Ashline

  • The old WMCI building on South Street in Bernardston. December 11, 2017 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz...

  • The old WMCI building on South Street in Bernardston. Recorder Staff/Paul FranZ



Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 14, 2017

BERNARDSTON — Bernardston residents can expect to see a new tire business on Route 5 next spring.

The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a request for a special permit by Bernardston residents Alex Fiorey and his wife, Amy, to operate a new business, Pioneer Valley Tire, at 22 South St. The couple is negotiating the purchase of the 2,100-square-foot building that was formerly Western Mass Communications Inc.

The Fioreys own The Laundry and the Solar Express Tanning Salon in Greenfield, as well as a mobile brake and tire business called Gimme A Break that they started in April of 2016.

“I’ve always been a car person with a large mechanical background,” Alex Fiorey said, having worked at Tire Warehouse and Tire Kingdom.

After overseeing The Laundry and the Solar Express Tanning Salon since 2006 and 2007, respectively, Fiorey said he wanted to “do something a little more his niche.” So he started offering mobile services with Gimme A Brake, something Fiorey said is “an incredibly popular option.”

Pioneer Valley Tire, Fiorey explained, would act as Gimme A Brake’s counterpart, allowing them to have a brick-and-mortar location to expand the tire business. Fiorey said he anticipates working at Pioneer Valley Tire three days per week, with possible hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., while operating Gimme A Brake on different days.

Fiorey said services will include new or used seasonal tire changeover, tire pressure monitoring system testing and sensor replacement, and the sale of custom wheels and wheel tire packages. He intends to carry most major tire brands, as well as more affordable, private label brands. The business will also have a free self-service air station.

As the sale was contingent upon the Zoning Board of Appeals’ approval, Fiorey said he and Amy hope to finalize the sale from current owner Paul Allis in January, and will spend a couple of months conducting renovations and septic repairs. He plans to upgrade the concrete block exterior and add a fenced-in area and awning within which to store used tires.

During the Dec. 7 public hearing, what would happen to the used tires was a primary concern voiced by residents, who hoped the tires wouldn’t be seen and wouldn’t be stored where they could get wet and hold stagnant water, thus attracting mosquitos.

Fiorey explained he’ll have Bob’s Tire Co. regularly pick up the used tires, as he does now with Gimme A Brake. The company then recycles the tires.

Fiorey said he hopes to open in late March or early April. Residents were pleased at the prospect of the building being used again, with Fiorey estimating it’s been vacant for about five years.

“I’m very happy the improvements are gonna come,” said Zoning Board of Appeals member Mark Fitzpatrick.

“We’re quite happy that that building is going to be used again,” said abutter Paul Skiathitis. “It’s been commercial since I was a kid.”

With the business located across from the Four Leaf Clover Restaurant and within walking distance to attractions like Cushman Park, the 7 South Bakery Cafe, 11 South Gallery and Cushman Library, Alex Fiorey suspects the increased traffic will benefit the surrounding destinations, too.

“There’s so much within walking distance, so they don’t have to sit and wait,” he said of his future customers.

Reach Shelby Ashline at:
sashline@recorder.com

413-772-0261 ext. 257