Hy-Vee to build new gas station

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hy-Vee officials on Monday announced plans to build a new gas station to replace the one it has across Bridge Avenue from its grocery store.

The new Hy-Vee Gas, at 2708 Bridge Ave., will feature eight gasoline pumps, a one-bay car wash, an expanded prepared food section and a Caribou Coffee drive-thru, similar to a Hy-Vee Gas store built in Austin, said Ruth Comer, assistant vice president of media relations for Hy-Vee.

Construction could begin later this month, with the opening slated for next spring. Comer said the new store will be built right next to the present one, and after it is completed, the old store will be torn down.

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“The current building was one we purchased,” she said. “It’s an older store, and it has a lot of wear and tear on it.”

Information about the cost and size of the project were unavailable as of press time.

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday night approved combining two lots owned by Hy-Vee into one so that the new structure can be built over the existing property lines.

The company also plans to move the storm sewer during the construction.

The council approved a new utility easement at the meeting to allow the company to move the sewer.

In addition, it approved a 100-foot public roadway easement that will allow for the future realignment of Plaza Street at the northeast end of the property. The realignment of the street is in the city’s capital improvement plan for safety and access purposes.

Presently, Plaza Street east of Bridge Avenue does not align with Plaza Street west of Bridge. Comer said the project has been let out for bids, and the company is in the process of securing its building permits.

The construction comes as crews are working on a new $5 million Kwik Trip gas station further south down Bridge.

Hy-Vee, based out of West Des Moines, Iowa, has more than 235 retail stores across eight states. It ranks among the top 20 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States, according to its website.

It has 10 gas stations in southern Minnesota.

During the Monday meeting, the City Council also:

• Rezoned four parcels owned by the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency on Plaza Street to allow for outside storage on the properties.

The discussion about whether to change the property from an Interstate Development District to an I-1 Limited Industrial District originated several months ago after an excavating company showed interest in coming to town. Outside storage is banned in the IDD District.

City staff and the planning commission had recommended against the rezoning, and staff had instead recommended some amendments to the IDD ordinance.

Councilor Larry Baker said the amendments would have made the the IDD ordinance almost like the I-1 ordinance. He and the other councilors said instead they would rather support the rezoning.

The councilors asked staff to continue working on revisions to the IDD ordinance and bring it back to the council at a later time.

• Approved a labor agreement with the International Association of Firefighters local unit representing the city’s firefighters.

The contract includes a 1.75 percent cost-of-living increase effective this past January with eligible employees reviewing a step increase on their anniversary date.

• Awarded the contract for this city’s chip sealing in the residential area surrounding West Fountain Street.

• Authorized the purchase of a microturbine gas conditioning system for the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

• Accepted a bid from Ferguson Waterworks to replace 774 water meters and install 113 radio boxes within the city. The meters presently have to be read by hand and cannot be read by radio.

The city received three bids for the project, with Ferguson Waterworks’ bid being the lowest, at $45,011.

• Amended the city’s assessment policy, capping the per foot assessment to 300 feet maximum on both the front side and side lot. The cap is only for overlay and reconstructions and does not impact new subdivisions.

• Authorized the preparation of plans for City Hall’s new heating, venting and air conditioning system.

• Authorized an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Office of Aeronautics for airport maintenance and operations. The agreement, for 2014 and 2015, will reimburse the city for two-thirds of the eligible maintenance and operations costs, not to exceed $36,932.

The agreement is the same as the last two years.

• Approved an administrative survey for Jared Dawson for dividing property in the Summer Dale Second Addition. A lot was split into two lots to accommodate a twin home.

• Approved an administrative survey for Jerry Vogt to adjust a lot line on the eastern side of West Ninth Street in the Wedgewood Cove subdivision. The adjustment will accommodate the construction of two single-family homes.

• Declared a 1978 Chevrolet school bus as surplus and abandoned property. The bus had been used by the Fire Department Explorers post, but the Explorers are no longer in operation.

It has several broken windows and has not been running for many years.

• Heard a request from representatives of the Choose Civility campaign for $5,000 to continue marketing the campaign in the community.