Gardnerville gas station project to plug ahead |

Gardnerville gas station project to plug ahead

A gas station has been in the same spot at Gardnerville’s S-curve for more than 70 years, so town board members were willing to wait a little longer to be able to finish its conversion to a welcome center.

Gardnerville Town Board members voted to keep plugging away at the former Shell Station on Tuesday night.

There’s still lots of work in the pipeline, including cleaning out contamination in the dirt beneath the station’s canopy.

That work will require that the canopy be taken down, Town Manager Tom Dallaire said.

The fuel tanks were removed on Veteran’s Day 2015, and work has continued on the supply lines.

The town received a block grant for the station, but was placed at a lower priority this year for money that could have come close to completing the project.

Dallaire said some of last grant went to pay for the fuel tanks, because there were no records showing their maintenance.

The station standing there was built in 1961, replacing the previous station, which had been at the location since opening in 1928.

That stations’ distribution lines leaked, contaminating the soil around the base of the canopy.

“There’s a lot of contaminated dirt,” Dallaire said. “When it came out of the hole it was black and still looked wet.”

The State Historic Preservation Office wants to keep the canopy as a sample of 1960s gas station architecture.

Main Street Gardnerville Director Paula Lochridge said she’d like to preserve the canopy somehow.

But with 15 feet of soil to be removed around its 8-foot base, Dallaire didn’t hold out much hope.

Carol Sandmeier asked whether the canopy could be taken down and then replaced after the work was done.

Dallaire said that it was missing pieces, including some of the light fixtures, and that missing panels had made it a pigeon roost.

Work cleaning up the property will continue until summer with the town’s current resources.

Dallaire said that since the grant form has already been completed, the town would resubmit it to the county for consideration next year.

Gardnerville had hoped to be recommended for the grant, which could have completed the project.

But it turned out they were third on the list of five.