(AP) Somerset’s city hall ventured into the retail gas business Saturday, opening a municipal-run filling station that supporters call a benefit for motorists and critics denounce as a taxpayer-supported swipe at the free market. The Somerset Fuel Center opened to the public selling regular unleaded gas for $3.36 a gallon, a bit lower than some nearby competitors. In the first three hours, about 75 customers fueled up at the no-frills stations, where there are no snacks, no repairs and only regular unleaded gas. Critics said the government has no business imposing itself into the private sector, and one store owner branded it as socialism. Adams, the convenience store owner, disputes the city’s claim that Somerset gas prices trend well above the regional average. Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, said a staff attorney involved in the industry since 1973 could not recall another city getting into the retail gas business. The city is purchasing gas from a hometown supplier, Continental Refining Co. The city purchased a fuel storage facility for $200,000 a few years ago. […] up to 60,000 gallons of regular unleaded gas can be stored there for the retail business.