fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Gold Hill officials consider truck stop

GOLD HILL — While it could be a long shot in terms of meeting state and local regulations for development, city officials say a proposed Flying J truck stop here would provide an economic boost for their town and a nice pit stop for the traveling public and truck drivers.

Gold Hill city officials will meet Monday to discuss the proposal, not yet formally submitted to the city, with property developers and county and state transportation officials.

The project would place a Flying J truck stop just south of the city's interchange.

Dick Converse, the city's contract planner from the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, said the property is currently home to an existing gas station and store.

Redevelopment of the site, to include surrounding parcels, would not only require extensive redesign of the interchange but extension of sewer and water services across Highway 234.

Converse said property owner Frank Goddard, who was unavailable for comment, and representatives from Flying J were in the "very, very preliminary" phases of discussing the project's potential, though he noted, "state agencies and the county have steadfastly resisted any expansion of Gold Hill in that direction to this point."

Projects to develop a Fire District 3 station and a nearby RV park, he noted, had needed use of municipal services and been declined in recent years.

"Those two uses could have used urban services, primarily sewer, but also water, and asked to expand boundaries to that area but received negative feedback because of issues related to the interchange itself," Converse said. "What has happened so far is the state has intended for interchanges to remain rural instead of urban."

Public Works Director Royal Gasso said the city is open to the idea of adding to the city's boundaries and increasing its economic base, but also interested to see how potential issues could be addressed, including interchange redesign, increased water storage capacity and extension of sewer and water lines.

"At this point we're just going to discuss the feasibility and gather information," said Gasso. "We're not convinced ODOT will allow it and tying into sewer and water would be very expensive."

An added advantage to the project being provided with city services, which would require annexation into the city, Gasso noted, would be to allow property owners on the same side of the river as the project to trade potentially leaky septic systems for municipal sewer service.

Converse said project proponents would likely discuss feasibility of "proceeding without being brought into the city" but that "what they'll likely find is that the extent of what they are wanting to do would be better served by urban services."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford.

E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.