2017-04-20 / Front Page

Burned Ascutney gas station to be replaced

By CAMERON PAQUETTE

Windsor-based Willey Earthmoving Company works to excavate gas tanks at the burned former Circle K gas station on Route 131 in Weathersfield. — CAMERON PAQUETTEWindsor-based Willey Earthmoving Company works to excavate gas tanks at the burned former Circle K gas station on Route 131 in Weathersfield. — CAMERON PAQUETTEWEATHERSFIELD — The owners of an Ascutney gas station that was heavily damaged following a burglary and fire are hoping to replace it with a new, larger facility as part of a roughly $1.5 million project.


B. Cairns Property LLC, submitting the application as South Burlington, Vermont-based Champlain Oil Company, purchased the property in the second half of 2016 from Irving Oil, which operated the Circle K gas station and convenience store at 301 Route 131 in Weathersfield before it was broken into on Feb. 1. Following the burglary at about 2:30 a.m., a fire broke out at the gas station, and it has been closed ever since.


At the time, Police Chief William Daniels said it was not known whether the fire was intentionally or accidentally set. Daniels could not be reached Wednesday for comment. Nine area fire departments responded, along with Weathersfield police and Golden Cross Ambulance.


The oil company applied on March 10 for a zoning permit to replace the burned convenience store with a roughly 4,800-square-foot Jiffy Mart gas station and convenience store. The Circle K store was about 2,200 square feet in size.


Property owners have a purchase and sale agreement for a plot of land to the northeast of the lot, and are planning to expand the gas station/convenience store onto that lot in addition to the current lot, according to the application filed with the town of Weathersfield.


The existing re-fueling canopy would remain under the proposed site plan drafted Feb. 16 by Wilson Consulting Engineers, PLC out of Montpelier. In addition to the canopy and the proposed convenience store, the site plan features a proposed counterclockwise drive-thru lane for a fast food restaurant, and a bypass lane extending around the back of the store.


Champlain Oil Company Planner Matt Wamsganz said the drive-thru will be for a Subway restaurant, with seating for 20 inside listed on the site plan. He said plans are still up in the air for the drive-thru Subway, but that the company is applying for the necessary permitting for it either way.


“Out in the midwest they have them all over the place,” he said, adding that there is currently only one other drive-thru Subway in the state.


The plan features 19 parking spots, and a proposed change from aboveground power and communications lines to underground lines. In the February burglary, the store’s power, internet and cable lines were found cut at the pole, according to police.


According to Gordon Turpin, a representative of Champlain Oil Company, crews from Willey Earthmoving Company out of Windsor began removing the oil tanks from the ground last week. He said that a date has not been finalized for deconstruction of the convenience store, but that when it starts it should only take a couple days.


Weathersfield Land Use Administrator Hal Wilkins said the proposal is scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on April 26. Wamsganz said the plan is to start construction in June and finish by October, contingent on the necessary permitting being obtained.


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