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Hunke Fuel Station permitted for industrial park spot

The spot is bought. The local permitting is approved. The only thing keeping the Hunke Fuel Station from breaking ground off Hwy 71 S in Wadena is approval from MnDOT for some funds.

Wadena city council members approved a conditional use permit, allowing Hunke Fuel Station and bulk fuel plant to locate in the Business Park during their regular board meeting Tuesday, April 9.

The permit was necessary to allow the bulk fuel plant in the Industrial - 1 zoning district. The retail fuel station is allowed in this zone. The move to the industrial park was necessary due to the expansion of Hwy 10 in the current location of Hunke Fuel Station at 55 Ash Ave.

Ryan Hunke, on owner, who has been working to make this project happen, said the owners were not sure at first that they would have to move from the site but then found out that they would have to move from Hwy 10. Removing all their equipment and either reusing some or replacing that equipment is a major expense. In order for it to happen, Hunke said MnDOT needs to make a decision and then release funds to them.

"It's up to them," Hunke said. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Hunke said losing the site on Hwy 10 takes away some of their exposure they enjoyed. He seemed to feel good about the location south of town, though. If it goes as planned, they will locate the retail stations on a lot located next to Highway 71 S and the bulk fuel will be located on Boardwalk Avenue SW in the Wadena Business Park. That retail station would allow truckers and residential customers to buy gas using a credit card system, paying at the pump.

"That's our intentions," Hunke said.

All council members were in favor of approving the conditional use permit, which had unanimous support from the planning commission as well. The issue was heard at a public hearing March 26. No objections were heard, according to Wadena Development Authority director Dean Uselman.