SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield City Council approved the Infrastructure Reimbursement Agreement with Buc-ees for improvement to areas of I-44.
The 53,000-square-foot travel center will be located at I-44 and Mulroy Road. The ordinance will establish a plan to reimburse the Buc-ee’s company for about $4 million of the estimated $8.5 million in improvements the company would have to complete to make the location suitable for development, according to the ordinance. Those improvements include a new public road and more utilities in the area.
The travel center is estimated to employ 175 to 225 full-time employees and Buc-ee’s minimum wage starts at $15-$17.
“the infrastructure reimbursement program is an agreement to reimburse the developer for infrastructure that they pay for upfront over a period of years, using a portion, in this case, 1/2 of city sales tax dollars that are generated by that development only,” says Sarah Kerner, Springfield Economic Development Director.
But not everyone is excited about the new development. This afternoon, 40 plus people stood outside city hall protesting buc-ee’s coming to town.
“All of this money could be used elsewhere. It could be used for way better things. I mean, there’s pollution. I mean our planet is not going to get better unless we think greener in energy and like I said before, this money can be put elsewhere,” says Kristina Neumeier, one of the people protesting.
“We just don’t need another gas station. What we need is real things like transportation and like real help for the houseless population,” added protestor Kyle Johnson.
City officials say there’s something they need to clear up.
“There’s been a lot of talk that if we’re gonna spend tax dollars on this project, why not spend it on another. Well, these dollars that are being spent are only being generated if this project comes to fruition,” says Kerner.