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Gas stations in Scipio and Beaver will keep their designations as public rest stops — despite being fined for pushing unneeded tires and repairs on motorists.

The Utah Department of Transportation, however, will monitor the businesses.

UDOT has put the two gas stations, both Flying J franchises along Interstate 15, on what it calls a "corrective action plan." The move requires the gas stations to follow the agreement it already reached with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

"If they violate any of those corrective action plans, we will withdraw those rest stops from those companies," said Rick Torgerson, director of UDOT's Region 4, where the two gas stations are located.

The accord with Consumer Protection — and now UDOT — mandates the stations discontinue the questionable sales practices, inform customers of repair costs and provide itemized receipts.

The gas stations also will be required to erect comment boxes and to send UDOT monthly summaries of those messages. UDOT already collects comments about its rest stops through its website. Torgerson said UDOT decided some patrons might want to submit a comment on the spot.

In February, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection fined the company owning the gas stations and adjacent repair shops $10,000. Consumer complaints released with the settlement described motorists driving or towing recreational vehicles stopping at the gas stations and being approached by employees telling them their tires were about to separate or that they needed other repairs.

Some motorists also complained they weren't told how much the tires or repairs would cost ­— $3,302 in one case discussed in the documents — until their vehicles already were on the lift.

The gas stations and repair shops are owned by Mark J. Yardley, according to public documents. Yardley was the mayor of Beaver when Consumer Protection received complaints about the businesses in 2013.

The settlement Yardley's stations signed with Consumer Protection says the businesses failed to obtain and record express authorization for repairs and inspections and didn't provide consumers with itemized lists of the fixes.

The stations, according to the settlement, also "represented to consumers that repairs, inspections, or other services are necessary when such is not the fact" and that the businesses "represented to consumers that goods being inspected or diagnosed are in dangerous condition ... when such is not the fact."

Justin Wayment, an attorney representing Yardley and the stations, sent an email to The Salt Lake Tribune on March 27 describing the violations as being technical and said the problems have been rectified.

"However," Wayment wrote, his clients "deny that there was ever a scheme or intent by employees to defraud or otherwise unlawfully influence people to purchase unnecessary services from the business."

Wayment did not reply to a request for comment last week.

The two gas stations are not paid by UDOT, but the agency does post signs on the freeway advertising the stations as public rest stops. In return, the gas stations have to be open at all hours, provide restrooms, parking spots and water fountains.

Torgerson said he met about two weeks ago with representatives of Yardley's company. Torgerson said he was concerned about one complainant who told Consumer Protection that he or she stopped at one of the Flying J's, in part, because it had a sign identifying it as a public rest stop.

"We talked a lot about the level of service we want with those rest stops," Torgerson said.

Yardley resigned as Beaver's mayor March 11, 2014, according to City Council minutes. The minutes said Yardley cited personal and family reasons for his resignation. He spent four years as mayor.

Twitter: @natecarlisle

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