Fred Meyer intends to add gas station

Hearing scheduled for Jan. 22

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Juneau's Fred Meyer store plans to open a gas station that can handle up to 10 vehicles at a time.

The Portland, Ore.,-based retailer, part of Kroger Co., posted a notice in the parking lot last week that it intended to add the station, called a Fred Meyer Fuel Stop, to its location at 8181 Glacier Highway.

The notice specifies the installation of a 43-by-92-foot fueling island canopy covering five multi-product dispensers that each can fuel two vehicles, plus a cashier's kiosk and two underground gasoline storage tanks. Credit or debit cards can be used, so diesel and three grades of gasoline will be available 24 hours a day.

"We would like to be open this summer," said Rob Boley, assistant vice president of public relations for Fred Meyer. "Our strategy is to be competitive with the lowest (gasoline) prices in town."

Fred Meyer purchases fuel from major refineries that produce products with no alcohol or detergent additives, Boley said, "so you will get the highest quality gasoline."

The company offers Frequent Fueler Cards that are punched each time a purchase of eight gallons or more is made. When the card is filled with 10 punches, it becomes a $5 coupon that can be applied to any purchase of $25 or more in the store.

Steve Shows, building inspector with the city Community Development Department, said a Juneau Planning Commission hearing date is set for Jan. 22 to deal with land-use issues. The department, which staffs the commission, will deal with building permits, Shows said.

"From a building-permit standpoint, we would issue a permit for gasoline dispensing, the canopy structure, piping and electricity," Shows said. "But normally we don't receive permit applications until land-use approvals have been granted."

From time to time, other local retailers express interest in adding a filling station, as Carrs/Safeway did in the past few years. So far, the Carrs project has not come to fruition, Shows said.

Steve Batch, acting store manager, said he did not have any additional information on when Fred Meyer might break ground.

Juneau has nine gasoline-dispensing outlets with underground tanks, and one with above-ground storage, said Ben Thomas, an environmental specialist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

There are several DEC hoops that Fred Meyer needs to jump through in order to open a station, said Thomas, who runs the pollution-prevention program for underground storage tanks.

The company must hire a licensed tank installer to oversee the project, show proof of pollution insurance, run and maintain leak-detection equipment properly and undergo inspection at construction and every three years thereafter.

Because Fred Meyer has added filling stations to its stores in Fairbanks, Kenai and Anchorage in recent years, Thomas said they "probably know the rules" and will easily meet the requirements.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.



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