South Charleston City Council has given preliminary approval to re-zoning property for a Sheetz gasoline station and convenience store on MacCorkle Avenue in Spring Hill.
Sheetz will occupy a city block along MacCorkle Avenue, between McDonald Street and Park Avenue.
"It will be a great asset to our community," Mayor Frank Mullens said prior to the unanimous vote by council. "The only thing more talked about is, you'd think we were getting a cracker plant in this community."
The Municipal Planning Commission approved the re-zoning Wednesday evening, City Attorney Michael Moore said. Council members must approve the re-zoning one more time before it becomes final.
Sheetz has been expanding in other parts of the state but this will be the Pennsylvania-based company's first store in Kanawha County.
The family-owned company has 15,000 employees at 452 stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.
In addition to offering traditional convenience store fare, it also has its own popular line of Made-To-Order brand sandwiches and coffees.
Sheetz opened four new locations in Putnam County over the last four years, two of which opened in the past few weeks.
Also at Thursday evening's busy 20-minute council meeting, Mullens:
* Announced that as of today, the Little Creek Golf Course will be paid off, three years ahead of schedule.
"That made my night right there," Mullens said.
The mayor said his top priority when he took office in 2007 was to pay down the city's debt, which stood at $6.5 million at the time. Now the only outstanding debt is under $2 million, he said. That is for the Memorial Ice Arena.
* Swore in three new police officers: Jeffrey Ellis, 32; Aaron Chapman, 25; and Tyler Dawson, 22.
"This brings us up to full staff," said Police Chief Brad Rinehart.
* Presented a plaque to Rev. Robert Davis, recognizing his 27 years of spiritual and community leadership. A mail carrier for 40 years, Davis, who is retiring, also serves as pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Spring Hill.
"I thank God for having served here as a pastor and as a mailman," he said.
* Proclaimed Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 "Constitution Week" and urged citizens to study the U.S. Constitution "and to express gratitude for the privilege of American citizenship."
Also at the meeting:
* Council unanimously agreed to motions by Finance Chairman Jeff Means to buy $31,426 worth of office furniture for the Little Creek clubhouse bar area and $38,059 worth of furniture for the dining room from Custom Office Furniture Inc. of Charleston.
Both purchases are being made without bids under the state contract, Means said.
* Recreation Director Arnett Hoston announced that the new gym floor for the community center has been installed and is expected to be available for use on Sept. 16.