Council helps local businessman move forward with environmental project

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Thanks to a unanimous vote by the Minden City Council, Keith McClung of McClung’s Service Center will be able to meet Environmental Protection Agency and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality requirements.

“I am very happy,” McClung said of the vote. “This will knock off a little more than half of my cost on this deal, if it goes according to plan.”

McClung, who has paid taxes into the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund since 2017, came to a council workshop last month to ask permission for a withdrawal from that fund.

Interim City Clerk Michael Fluhr told the council at that workshop there is more than $53,000 in TIF District 1 where McClung’s Service Center is located.

“So it would be possible to give him his 80 percent,” Fluhr said.

It came to around $10,000.

There is one tank in the ground in front of the station that has been there since 1990. It is about 33 feet long and has three sections.

McClung, whose station is on the corner of Sheppard and E. Union streets (US Hwy. 80) said removing a tank that large would cause flooding problems with that intersection … especially if a hole that large should settle.

“We’re going to fill the tanks with sand,” McClung said. “I will have to have some tests run while I’m doing it, but everything should be OK on that.”

LDEQ will test soil around the tank before it is filled.

Pump Masters has quoted $18,630 to fill all 3 sections of the tank and then the area around it with backfill. McClung said he has applied for a loan from a local bank, and it has been approved. To completely remove the tank would cost at least $40,000, he said. It is near water and sewer lines, which could cause other issues.

McClung has to pay for the entire project and then turn in receipts to the City for reimbursement. He said it will probably be September before he can start the project.

“I have a few more things to tie up, but I will be getting with Pump Masters soon,” he said. “Right now, I am looking at about 20 cars in front of my station that need repairs.”

McClung learned the auto mechanic business from his father, Monroe McClung, however, the industry has changed drastically since his father’s death in 1993.

The station was built in the 1950s, but Monroe McClung purchased it in 1976. Prior to that, he had a business on Shreveport Road where used cars now are parked, near Advanced Ambulance’s location.

“It’s been a gas station since the ’40’s,” McClung said of today’s location. “But these aren’t the original tanks. They were replaced in 1990.”

With all councilpersons at the meeting Tuesday, with the exception of District B councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker, District D councilman Michael Roy made the motion to give McClung the $10,000 with a second from District C councilman Vincen Bradford.

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