The former Eagle Gas Station is a lot more valuable for what could go under it, than what’s standing on it.
Gardnerville Town Manager Tom Dallaire told members of the town board on Tuesday that installing flood control structures under the property could go a long way toward making Highway 395 passable in a flood.
Dallaire said the gas station’s fuel tanks are sound, but that his plan was to dig them up when the town has money.
Thanks to the testing, the town can now enroll in the state petroleum fund, which will help to pay to remove the tanks and fuel lines.
He said that digging up the tanks could also allow the town to install a flood control structure while the hole is open, instead of having to dig the parking lot up twice.
While the fuel tanks are sound, there is a waste oil tank that’s leaking around the edges that will have to be removed. He said there may be a grant available to do that work.
Dallaire told board members getting storm water off Highway 395 is a priority.
“Most stormwater in town flows past the site,” Dallaire said.
Under three plans that will be presented to the public at a Sept. 7 meeting, one removes all the structures for off-street parking, another puts more landscaping on the site and a third leaves the building that could be used as an office for Main Street Gardnerville, the visitors center and a meeting room.
“The building won’t need a lot of rehab, and there are restrooms already there,” he said.
The site could also serve as a bus stop for downtown Gardnerville.
Board members seemed enthusiastic about keeping the building.
“Keeping that building gives the most flexibility,” board member Lloyd Higuera said.
Dallaire said his goal is to get as much done at as little cost as possible, using grants to help fund the project.
“A lot of things have to happen before we get this done,” he said, estimating it could be 5-10 years before the plan is complete. “It’s going to take a lot of applications to a lot of institutions to get the funding for this. Also there are going to have to be some matching funds.”