Questions answered about proposed Town Pump expansion that would use Second Street
By Chris Wetherell
On Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m. approximately one hundred Troy resi-dents gathered at the Sen-ior Center to meet with Mayor Dallas Carr, city council members, and rep-resentatives from the Town Pump to discuss the proposed expansion of the Town Pump located at Hwy. 2 and Second street. The representatives from the Town Pump were Dan Sampson, the Construc-tion and Development Manager, Joe Murphy, a Civil Engineer, and Arnold Osmond, their Petroleum Products Supervisor.
Mayor Carr opened the meeting by introducing the speakers and explain-ing that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed expansion and to allow residents the op-portunity to ask questions and express concerns both in favor of or against the project.
Dan Sampson began by explaining and showing a letter written to the Mayor, that Town Pump has no interest now or in the future of opening a casino at this location. He explained that there was no room for one under the current plan and that the state would not allow it due to the proximity of the High School. Sampson then shared a design for the new facility.
The new design calls for the demolition of the existing building and the removal of the fuel tanks and pumps, expanding eastward across Second Street onto the corner lot that, along with the lot behind it would house the new pumps and fuel tanks. The store would be ex-panded to approximately 7,000 square feet to ac-commodate expanded grocery and beverage se-lections. The pumps would provide the traditional three grades of fuel; gaso-line, diesel fuel and red dye diesel used for farm and off-road equipment. Sampson explained that the additional fuel prod-ucts, groceries, and bever-age selections are being added based on consumer wants and needs. He also explained that they will not be providing any ser-vices for large trucks such as 18-wheelers.
Sampson continued the discussion by address-ing the plan and why it was laid out the way it was. He spoke at length about ongoing safety con-cerns and the need to miti-gate those issues in the new design. Pedestrian traffic and ease of exit for vehicles were the main concerns. The new design would allow for vehicles to access the pumps di-rectly from Hwy. 2 and exit back onto the road-way in a seamless pattern. The store would also pro-vide additional parking in front for customer con-venience and pedestrian safety.
It is no secret that the current layout of the store and the gas pumps is problematic causing traffic back ups and what some-times resembles the start of a “demolition derby.” It creates a dangerous situa-tion for pedestrians and motorists alike. Some at the meeting even said that they won’t go to the store because of those difficul-ties.
A major portion of the new plan involves the Town Pump expanding into and using a 125 x 60-foot section of Second Street, which runs from Hwy. 2 to East Spokane Ave. This would include an “alley” for pedestrian traffic and would allow controlled access for vehi-cles needing to exit Sec-ond Street.
The new plan would also alleviate the problem of fuel and delivery trucks having to stop on Hwy. 2 which often blocks motor-ist and pedestrian views of oncoming traffic. In return for this section of Second Street, Town Pump has agreed to provide infra-structure improvements to include new sidewalks in the area and storm wa-ter mitigation. The value of those improvements has not yet been deter-mined.
A question was raised regarding leasing the roadway to the Town Pump and Mayor Carr stated that after many conversations with the city attorney it was deter-mined that this would not be a viable option.
Sampson was able to express that this project is in the preliminary stages and that the plan present-ed appears to be the best option for both the Town Pump and the city of Troy’s traffic flow, and safety concerns. He added that a traffic study would still need to be completed and that the results would allow for a more concrete plan.
Sampson said that the project would take about ten months to complete and would bring some 150 to 160 workers to town during that time. Many of those workers would be staying in the area during the construction phase.
The project has an open bid process in place and they are currently accepting bids. When it was asked if local contac-tors would be given priori-ty over outside contrac-tors, Sampson restated that it was an open bid process and he encour-aged all local contractors to enter a bid.
At the completion of the project the Town Pump plans to create six full time positions and four to five part time posi-tions. It was also mention that additional tax dollars would be generated by the expansion.
A resident asked how the project would affect his property value and Sampson replied that his-torically property values increased because of store expansion, or placement.
Some at the meeting were opposed, and some were supportive of the project continuing for-ward. The Montanian’s editor would like to apolo-gizes to those who felt that our earlier headline about this story appeared bi-ased. We aim to cover all aspects of the story and we encourage our readers to continue to provide feedback.
The mayor was asked who would make the final decision on the project and he stated that he and city council members would make the final deci-sion following the process that is currently in place. A timeline for this process was not detailed, but any-one with ongoing con-cerns is encouraged to follow-up with the mayor and council.
The meeting adjourned at about 7:40 p.m. Town Pump representatives, Mayor Carr, and the city council members stayed late and continued to an-swer questions from resi-dents.