The proposed Casey’s General Store is up for its third reading, the partial payment for consent decree work, and the bid acceptance for a compressed natural gas fueling station are all on the upcoming Board of Directors agenda.

Despite concerns about the rezoning of South 46th Street and Rogers Avenue for a commercial gas station, the board voted 4-3 on Nov. 6 in favor of the ordinance. It did not receive enough votes for suspension of the rules, however, and had to be read two more times. The ordinance will receive the third and final reading at the Tuesday meeting with directors allowed to revote on the topic.

Residents have asked that the discussion be tabled for further discussion and time to see if a private donor would want to purchase the land.

St. Scholastica Monastery wants to sell the parcel to Casey’s General Store for a new station on the corner, but there has been criticism of the board “hastily” making a decision. A Citgo station is located on the corner directly across from the proposed location.

Citizens near the location say they’re not totally against development but wish any commercialization would utilize as much green space as possible.

A creek runs through the property, which Travis Brisendine of Morrison Shipley Engineers said would be relocated.

Jodie Murray Burns, principal and senior scientist at Cattails Environmental, said in a letter to John Alford, attorney representing residents living along 46th Street, she believes a permit will have to be issued from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before any work can be done.

Canada geese, which are federally protected animals, live on the property. It is unclear if they build nests where the Casey’s store would be located and whether there are requirements for commercial development on land featuring protected birds. The Times Record reached out to several agencies within the U.S. Department of Interior but they did not return requests for comment.

The directors will also vote on whether to allow for the payment of approximately $930,000 for work by KAJACS Contractors for the work on sub-basin capacity improvements as part of the consent decree requirements.

“The new interceptor is part of the continuing construction projects developed to alleviate sanitary sewer overflow problems,” Utilities Director Jerry Walters wrote in a memo to City Administrator Carl Geffken.

More than $250 million will be spent on consent decree work through the next eight years, according to the department’s capital improvement plan.

Transit Director Ken Savage told the directors at last Monday’s 2019 budget hearing the department wants to build a compressed natural gas fast-fueling station at its offices.

Savage said it put out a bid in early October and the lowest was around $1.5 million. This will provide an alternative fueling method for almost all of the city’s fleet.

“All of our equipment that operates out on route, except the trolley, is CNG capable,” Savage said. The department is working toward getting the back-up buses CNG capable as well.

Savage said the buses already outfitted for CNG fuel last three quarters of the day before switching to unleaded fuel. He hopes the fueling station will allow more of the fleet go longer periods of time without using regular gas.

The station will be available for all departments with CNG-enabled vehicles.

“We felt like the fast fill would be better accommodating for our needs and also able to be used for other departments,” Savage said.

Fort Smith should receive around 90 percent reimbursement on the project cost, because the Federal Transit Administration wants cities to invest in alternative fueling methods, Savage said.

The directors will meet 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Smith School District’s Service Center, Building B.