One of the island’s three gas stations may shut down for good when construction of a traffic roundabout in Cruz Bay begins.
The Texaco gas station will have to vacate its current location, which it now leases from the government, when work begins on the roundabout. The V.I. government compensated Texaco for the property which was taken for the project by eminent domain.
Station operator and former Senator at Large Robert O’Connor Jr., who has kept the station open through a short-term lease with the government, has not yet found a suitable space to relocate, he explained.
“I don’t have any place to go,” said O’Connor. “I would relocate if I found someplace that makes sense, but I haven’t found any space.”
Department of Public Works officials expect to advertise for bids for the project this June, and a date has not been set for construction to begin.
The Texaco is operating under a month-to-month agreement with the government, and will be required to move by the end of July, according to DPW St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade.
St. John did not fare well with only two gas stations during the last five months, while the E&C Gas Station underwent renovations. The Texaco station often was jammed with vehicles and ran out of regular gas at times.
E&C planned for the possibility of the closing of the Texaco during renovations, explained E&C Manager Myrtle Barry.
“We knew that eminent domain will take place,” said Barry. “That’s what took us so long in getting ready. We had to make structural changes which required increasing our size to accommodate the anticipated increase in customers.”
The many government agencies which have contracts with Texaco for filling up their vehicles can apply for an account at E&C in the event the Texaco does close, explained Barry.
“We have applications for anyone who wants an account with us,” she said. “They will have to be approved through that process.”
E&C will be able to keep fuel in stock, barring any unforeseen problems, according to Barry.
“Once I purchase the fuel from my supplier, I am able to keep a constant supply,” she said. “If something happens, like the barge breaks down, then we will run out.”