MCBAIN — After years of working with contractors and the state, the new gas station on Pine Street in McBain is planning to open next week.
“They’re on the final leg of the race here,‘ McBain Mayor Joey Roberts said.
Shane Frye, who owns the gas station at 208 N. Pine St. in McBain along with his family, said Frye’s Gas and Grocery will open on Monday, July 8, and has a grand opening scheduled for July 19.
The gas station will have an ATM, gas, will offer ethanol-free fuel and diesel fuel, and grocery items people might need last minute, Frye said.
They are hoping to have beer, liquor and wine down the road.
“We are working on that,‘ he said.
The gas station is opening later than was initially planned due to some issues the family knew about when they bought the property in November 2017.
The original underground tanks at the old Sunoco gas station, which was built in the 1950s, leaked and the ground under the station was contaminated by gasoline.
Then in 2014, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, now the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), discovered that the new tanks were leaking as well. The owner went bankrupt.
In March 2018 the city and EGLE reached an agreement regarding cleanup of the former gas station site. In September 2018 crews started tearing apart the old site to clean it.
The underground gas plume was about a foot thick in most places, said Dave Maynard, a DEQ employee serving as the project manager, in a past interview.
After crews dug up the contaminated dirt, dump trucks took it to a sanitary landfill with a clay liner to keep the gas from contaminating more land. Replacement dirt came from local gravel and sand pits, Maynard said.
Frye said they had to wait for the state to do cleanup from the previous gas station and after they finished their work in November the Fryes put in their tank in December. They started to do dirt work for the gas station in April, three months ago.
He said the process has been great and all the city and county officials he’s worked with for inspections and permits have been very receptive.
They have worked with contractors local to the McBain area including Heuker Construction, DJ’s Heating and Cooling, Pete's Contracting, McBain Building Products and H & H Construction, Inc.
“They’ve all done a great job and we’ve been real happy with all of them,‘ Frye said.
The family owns a couple of other gas stations and modeled the new building off the “good parts‘ of other gas stations they own, he said.
Roberts said the city really needs a second gas station and the fact this gas station will have longer hours is a big benefit for the city.
The other gas station isn’t open very long on Saturday and is closed on Sunday, “and sometimes I need gas on Sunday,‘ Roberts said.
Cara Frye, Shane Frye’s daughter, said the gas station would be open during the following times:
• Monday through Thursday 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Friday 4:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
She said they would be open on Sundays for the convenience. Sometimes you don’t always plan to go somewhere and not having a gas station open when you need it can be difficult.
Falmouth Cooperative Company owns the other gas station in McBain and is not currently open on Sundays. Employee Cora Dick said the current gas station will not change its hours in light of the new gas station coming in and will still be closed on Sundays.
Cara Frye said she’s not worried about competition with the other gas station and thinks McBain is big enough for the two of them.
She said the family bought the property for the gas station because it was for sale and they could see how busy McBain was from the Subway, which the family also owns.
“We’re happy to be part of this community,‘ she said.