By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Plans for a Murphy Express gas station on West Main Street can shift into drive.
At its Tuesday meeting, the Tupelo City Council peppered Murphy Oil representatives with questions about design plans, but ultimately approved the rezoning of 112 Maynard Drive. The rezoning approval allows Murphy Oil to move forward with plans to build at the corner of West Main street and Maynard Drive, opposite the Walmart Supercenter. It would become the third gas station on the busy corner, joining Dodge’s and J’s Mart.
During a public hearing at Tuesday’s council meeting, Shan Easterling, who lives on Torrey Street about four blocks from the proposed gas station, spoke against the rezoning, citing concerns about increased traffic through the neighborhood, increased litter and increased noise.
“There is absolutely no need for another gas station at that location,” Easterling said, noting that there are five within a square mile.
At the Jan. 7 planning committee, Thomas Street Neighborhood Association President Beckie Richards said developer Tommy Morgan and Murphy Oil had been very responsive to concerns from the neighborhood association, agreeing to lighting, landscaping, fencing and entrance changes.
The normal operating hours for Murphy Express stations are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
It will not serve over-the-road trucks. Depending on state and city permitting processes, construction could begin mid to late summer with a fall opening, said Wayne Gibson, Murphy-Walmart liaison for the El Dorado, Ark.-based company.