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No gas leads to stinky situation

By Jan Basina

I probably could live in a town without pity or even in a town without Christmas … but a town without a gas station?

Well that’s what happened in Trempealeau last month when the village’s only gas station and convenience store closed it doors, creating a conundrum for its 1,400 residents. Trempealeauians these days are forced to patronize gas stations in nearby communities.

But thanks to the efforts of a group of local investors, the situation should only be temporary. The group is moving forward to get the gas lines flowing again soon.

The investors have hired Halverson Engineering LLC, Marshfield, to design a gas station compatible with the village’s architecture. The structure will have cultured stone around its base, a vaulted roof and skylights.

The city’s planning commission approved the plans for a new gas station after the investors presented a site plan and architectural review. But approval from the state’s Department of Transportation and Commerce Department is still needed before bids can be solicited for the project.

Village officials are now hoping to have a new gas station open by the time the summer season of tourists descends on this sleepy hamlet that lies along the banks of the Mississippi River.

And anyone who has lived in Wisconsin long enough knows that during the summer the population “Up North” explodes. According to the village’s Chamber of Commerce, thousands visit each year to fish at the lock and dam, hike around the surrounding area or just to take in the “Up North” beauty.

The project’s timeline seems a little ambitious, but investors are not to be thwarted. They are hopeful the station will be pumping gas in time for the town’s Catfish Days, July 9-11.

And I’m betting the chances are pretty good, that gas, along with coffee and Icees, will flow once again in the town without a gas station.

Jan Basina is a data reporter with The Daily Reporter. There will be no gas jokes.

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