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Local

Batavia gas station to reopen outside Walmart

Shuttered Sam’s station to rebrand with Walmart name

Walmart plans to reopen the shuttered Sam's Club gas station off Randall Road in Batavia in coming weeks under its own name.
Walmart plans to reopen the shuttered Sam's Club gas station off Randall Road in Batavia in coming weeks under its own name.

BATAVIA – The shuttered Sam’s Club gasoline station is expected to reopen later this month after being rebranded under the Walmart name.

Mayor Jeff Schielke said he has been told by Walmart officials that the station will reopen after being closed in the wake of the Sam’s Club store closure Jan. 26.

“That’s a very heavily used gas station,” Schielke said. “We don’t want to lose that with everything else we lost in this deal.”

What the city of Batavia lost is about $1 million a year in revenues, including sales, liquor and utility taxes, as well as electric, water and sewer billing.

And that's not to mention the loss of 150 jobs held by the people who were working for the Batavia store at 501 N. Randall Road.

Schielke said the gasoline station, which is located out in front of the nearby Walmart store at 801 N. Randall Road, needs to reconfigure its payment system to accept cash and change its signs to reflect the brand change.

The decision to reopen the gas station helps to mitigate the loss of the Sam’s Club, in part because the city again will collect gasoline tax revenues.

Like sales taxes, gasoline tax figures are proprietary business information under state law.

However, Batavia Finance Director Peggy Colby said that the city had projected to collect $850,000 in total gasoline taxes as part of its 2018 budget plan. This calculation includes a 1-cent increase in the gas tax approved by the Batavia City Council, bringing the total to 4 cents per gallon.

The closure of the Sam’s Club store, one of 63 shuttered across the nation, has forced city officials to make budget cuts. These include a delay in the hiring of a new police officer and building inspector.

Truck strikes crosswalk beacon

Those three flashing-light pedestrian crosswalks on Batavia Avenue (Route 31) often have been the subject of debate by the Batavia City Council, particularly for the crossing at McKee Street.

At least one alderman has gone so far as to argue for the removal of the button-activated lights. Now it appears that the decision may have been made for the city at the McKee crossing, which is regarded as the most dangerous.

City Administrator Laura Newman said that a northbound truck hit the device on the east side of Batavia Avenue, putting it out of commission.

Newman said federal transportation officials are forbidding the city from replacing the device. Aldermen will discuss what to do next when they meet as a committee of the whole Feb. 13.

Council OKs demolition

The Batavia City Council on Feb. 5 approved demolition of the two vacant houses at 13 and 27 N. Prairie St. The two houses are owned by the Batavia Park District, which plans to use the space to expand the parking lot for its busy East Side Community Center.

Batavia wants you

Mayor Jeff Schielke is looking for community-minded volunteers. Schielke plans a Community Volunteer Summit on March 13 at the Batavia Government Center for people who are interested in helping with the Fourth of July fireworks program, the Flag Day celebration and the Christmas toy drive.

All three are considered growing, signature community events in Batavia, and the mayor seeks a few good men and women to make them more successful.

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