KBIC assembling site plan for new gasoline station in Marquette

MARQUETTE – The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is preparing to submit a site plan to Marquette Township for its proposed gasoline station.

Aanikoosing, Inc., recently began advertising for bids on installing petroleum equipment at the site. Gregg Nominelli, an economic developer with the KBIC’s Office of Planning and Development, said the tribe is looking at costs for building the station.

“It’s not yet approved, but we’re getting closer,” Nominelli said.

The site plan will include the location of the equipment, tanks, and the convenience store, among other things, Nominelli said.

The idea has run into opposition from area gasoline retailers, who commissioned a study through the Upper Peninsula Petroleum Association showing the new station could cost existing stations up to $10.7 million annually of in-store sales. It’s also been opposed by Gov. Rick Snyder’s office, which told the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in a January letter the station would offer an unfair commercial advantage over competing stations.

The BIA would decide whether or not to put the land for the gasoline station into trust. That would allow the station to sell gasoline with no state sales tax, as the KBIC does at its existing station in Baraga.

But putting the land into trust is only an optional step for the station, Nominelli said. The KBIC has not yet requested the land be put into trust.

“That remains to be determined,” Nominelli said.