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Historic gas station's future uncertain - KOAM TV 7

Historic gas station's future uncertain

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Some city council members in Webb City, Missouri are at odds over how to revitalize a historic gas station.  This old gas station is owned by the City and sits at the corner of Dougherty and Liberty streets.


City officials say it was built in the 1920's, and is believed to be the oldest gas station still standing in Jasper County.  They want to spend about $62,000 in city funds and grants to renovate the building for a business tenant.


But some City Council members and residents don't want City funds, including grant money collected by the City, used.  Instead, they would like an independent developer to buy and renovate the property.


Webb City's mayor supports using city funds, saying it would be an investment that would pay for itself.


"It's bringing the outside up to its original condition.  And the inside, I don't believe is that bad right now.  That will be a minor effort to fix up the inside.  And a lot of that will depend on what use we find for it," says Mayor John Biggs.


"Once we renovate it, we can rent it.  And it'll actually be an income source for the citizens," says Mayor Biggs.  "We can fill more potholes, or whatever we need to do."


But Webb City resident Robert Lay says, "I think they should let some business buy it and try to start a business out of there.  I've seen other businesses in there that have failed.  I don't think that the City should spend their money on it."


Mayor Biggs says several people have shown interesting in occupying the old gas station once proposed work is completed.


"One lady came forward and her husband is retiring and he would like to set up a detailing business.  That interest came in last week," says Mayor Biggs.


"They should have a regulation on how they can redo it and what not.  Like, they can't change so much.  Can't tear it down, or something like that," says Lay.


The City was given the property from a family who wanted it restored.  City Council will vote on what to do with the old gas station during its next Council meeting this Monday night.







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