Final date uncertain for TCO in sale to Town Pump

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Looking northwest in Highway 2 in Troy, TCO Lube and Tire has been purchased by Town Pump to expand their current station. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

The Troy Town Pump will expand northeast along Highway 2 after the confirmed purchase of the TCO Lube and Tire property, but neither company officials nor TCO’s owner are certain when that will happen.

Bruce Cole, owner of TCO Lube and Tire, had previously negotiated with Town Pump about selling his property, but those negotiations had not borne fruit until recently.

Last year, Cole said that his son planned to take over the business, and that any sale of the property to Town Pump would have to cover relocating the business.

Plans have now changed, Cole said Friday.

Once he closes his shop, Cole will be retiring, and there are no plans to reopen the shop elsewhere, he said.

However, Cole said he has not been given any timeline from Town Pump regarding when he will need to be moved out of his shop.

Until he has a firm date from Town Pump, Cole said he plans to continue operating his shop.

Dan Sampson, a construction development manager with Town Pump, is the project manager for the Troy expansion project. He was among the company representatives who first presented plans for an expansion to community members at a meeting last February.

Sampson confirmed by email the purchase of TCO, but said that the company does not have “concrete plans at this time.”

Town Pump is looking at design options for either an extension or rebuild of the current Town Pump building, “that would not have any impact on the surrounding streets etc.”

“While the outcome of the last proposal was unfortunate, our commitment to the community remains, and we are hopeful to have a plan for the revitalization and modernization of the Troy Town Pump in the near future,” Sampson said.

In previous meetings, Sampson had noted that the intent of an expansion would not be to increase traffic such as semis traveling Highway 2. The purpose of the expansion was primarily to serve local residents.

“While we are unsure of the plan at this time, our goal remains the same,” Sampson said. “We would like to accommodate traffic such as school buses, snow plows and other vehicles of this nature with our fuel offering, but our design will be such that it would be conducive to general over-the-road semi traffic.”

Sampson said he is not aware of any other properties Town Pump has purchased or is working to purchase in Troy.

As for the two parcels on the southeast side of 2nd Street that Town Pump had originally planned to expand onto, Sampson said there are no current plans for how those might be used.

“The possibility of using one or both of those lots is definitely present, but will depend on the final site layout and design,” he said.

Background

Town Pump presented a plan last February at a public meeting in Troy for an expansion that would have included the purchase of a portion of 2nd Street that separates their properties on either side.

The portion of street would have become part of the Town Pump parking lot. Town Pump promised to leave access open on both the 2nd Street and Highway 2 sides to allow vehicles to pass through, but a number of local residents did not view that as a solution to the concept of essentially closing a city street at one end.

After public controversy over the possibility of the city selling a portion of 2nd Street to Town Pump, the Troy City Council voted on May 23, 2018, to settle the question with a public vote.

In November, Sampson said that the current situation with traffic and parking at the Troy Town Pump is unsafe, and that the company would continue to seek a solution.

In a Nov. 6, 2018, vote open to Troy residents residing within the city limits, 207 voted against the sale of the portion of 2nd Street to Town Pump, and 204 voted in favor.

Lincoln County Election Administrator Leigh Riggleman said that a vote recount requires a 0.25 percent or smaller difference in the for and against votes. Given the 411 votes cast, the difference would have had to have been a single vote.

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