Sheetz builds $1.75M interstate truck fuel stop
AUSTINTOWN — Highway stops where tractor-trailers can fuel up and spend the night after hours on the road are fairly common along exits on Interstate 80.
For Sheetz, however, the type of truck stop being built in Austintown not only is new to the township, it’s a new type of project for the company in Ohio.
Nick Ruffner, Sheetz public relations manager, said he could not disclose the project’s cost.
But township zoning director Darren Crivelli and the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office show the investment to be $1.75 million. That involves $900,000 for the construction permit, $100,000 for an additional high-rise sign, and the developer purchased the property for $750,000, auditor records show.
The property was purchased by Sabatine BK Development LLC on Aug. 22, 2020, according to auditor’s records.
The store, located at 1101 N. Canfield Niles Road (state Route 46), is adding five new lanes of high-flow diesel fuel behind the standing store. The project will bring the new pumps, a truck scale and parking. Ruffner said the tentative opening date will be toward the end of June.
“Our Austintown store is conveniently located directly off of Interstate 80, a major intercontinental corridor in the U.S. with high daily truck traffic. Sheetz added 10 diesel fueling stations to this store location to better serve the needs of these customers,” Ruffner said in an email.
An employee of Miller-Yount Paving Inc., the Cortland-based company chosen to help construct the site, said the addition of these pumps marks the second such project in Ohio. A Sheetz employee said the other such operation, near Columbus, is bigger.
Crivelli said the addition of the pumps in Austintown makes sense because of how busy the interchange is.
“I’ve been told it’s the busiest interchange between New York and Chicago,” Crivelli said.
The future of these stations in and around the Mahoning Valley will be determined by business volume. Ruffner said the company will add diesel fueling stations at locations with an abundance of average daily truck traffic.
“At this time, it is too early in the process to determine if more of these fueling stations will be added to our locations in the Mahoning Valley area,” Ruffner said.
He added the same goes for across Ohio.
Crivelli explained the new site is close to residential housing on Lou Ida Boulevard. When the project was announced, those residents expressed discontent.
To ease their concerns, Crivelli said the township is requiring Sheetz to put in pine trees to act as a sound barrier between the station and the houses.
“It will provide a sound barrier for the residents. They’re unhappy, but myself, township Administrator Mike Dockry and Trustee Ken Carano had a meeting with them,” Crivelli said.
“They said they didn’t want this type of project in their backyard, and I think they have concerns about the trucks possibly idling all night,” Crivelli said. “I sympathize with them and understand their concerns.”
He added the residents have asked the township to write a letter to Sheetz, relaying their worries to the company about overnight parking, among other things.
The company, however, has demolished two dilapidated buildings that would have been on the township’s radar for demolition.
“They did a nice job with the site,” Crivelli said.
“Our hope is through the additions of these fueling stations, Sheetz can better serve the needs of a variety of customers,” Ruffner said.