|Jun 20, 2013 --
Outline of Need: Farmers Union Oil Company of Velva was looking to build a new convenience center and gas station to accommodate the increasing area traffic due to oil production. It was important to choose a location that was easily accessible from the main highway through Velva as well as providing enough space for truck parking.
How Rural Development Helped: USDA Rural Development used three programs to help support the construction of the new store. This financing included: a $159,379 Rural America for Energy Program (REAP) grant for six blender fuel pumps, a $1 million Rural Economic Development loan through Verendrye Electric Cooperative, and a $1,850,795 Business and Industry guaranteed loan through Peoples State Bank of Velva.
The Results: The 7,000 square foot gas station offers 24-hour services including dining areas, fast food and fueling bays. There also is a trucker lounge with showers, wireless internet and laundry. Located on the edge of Velva off of Highway 52, the store’s entrance boasts the largest log truss in the United States, measuring 80 feet long and weighing over eight tons.
The stores’ general manager, Cory Schmaltz, says that there has been 30 trucks a night parked outside of the store. He continued to say that in a typical day there is anywhere from 1,200 to 1,400 transactions. This is well over three times the business he was doing at the previous store’s location.
The store has also changed their staffing to include more full-time workers paying benefits. This has been positive as there is a waiting list of applicants. Currently, they have a staff of about 40 people.