As of Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Dufur A public hearing is scheduled to gather comment on a proposed conditional use fueling facility in Dufur...
In recent years Dufur has been unable to sustain a fueling station, largely because of the price fluctuation and differential with The Dalles [15 miles away]. Local customers would, when needed, buy only a couple of gallons of gas to get them into The Dalles where more competitive pricing would provide the fill-up.
As a business model, with the Oregon state requirements requiring an attendant to pump the gas, a profitable business could not be sustained. A card-lock system would eliminate that one aspect of that problem, and it's associated expense.. However, the lack a fuel station continues to significantly impact transient activities in Dufur. In order to make a sustainable fueling business in Dufur, four things must happen.
1] The price differential between Dufur and The Dalles must be a balance between profit for the vendor and value for the individual user or the old buy a gallon and go to town to fill up will return, and the station will collapse, again.
2] Larger users [fleet users] must subscribe to it's use, i.e.,. local businesses, the school district, even the forest service. This may require low bids on the part of the operator to make up margins in volume.
3] The station must commit to a long term presence. Try it for three months and leave was the story of the last station. Building the confidence of the users is paramount to sustainability. The community has been yanked around with respect to fuel service to the extent that only a long term commitment [of at least two years], will win committed support. A number of individuals have made long term investments in Dufur, anyone seeking to provide renewed fuel station support should be prepared to do the same.
4] Some accommodation must be made to pump gas for transients, possibly through the general store and a small service charge, but local traffic in a community of less than a thousand is marginal at best.
Dufur as a community needs a viable fueling station and with the correct business model and commitment to serve the community it will be successful.
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