by Dennis Dalman
Construction of a gas station/convenience store is about to begin near the intersection of CR 29 and Benton Drive in Sartell.
The site is located southeast of that intersection.
Almost two years ago, the Sartell City Council approved a zoning amendment to accommodate the project. At its May 13 meeting, the council approved a conditional-use permit, a site plan and an off-sale liquor license for the store.
It will be a 4,250 square-foot facility with 40 percent of the lot being green space. There will be two accesses, one from Benton Drive, the other from CR 29.
Several council members expressed concerns about traffic in that area, especially the heavy traffic on CR 29 during afternoon hours. The owner of the store, Pete Yarmon of Sartell, said he is concerned about traffic too, and is willing to work with city officials and Benton County to find the safest possible solutions, such as turn lanes and – perhaps in the future – traffic lights at the intersection. Council member Steve Hennes suggested the speed limits on those roadways might have to be decreased.
Yarmon has been the owner/operator of Benton Mini Serve for more than 30 years. That gas station/convenience store is located on Benton Drive a few blocks north of the site now under construction. It will close once the new station is ready to go.