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Swifty station switch on way

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Three Swifty Oil Co. locations in Columbus that closed this week will be replaced by new Marathon gas stations.

Bluffton-based National Gas & Oil has purchased all three stations, said Trout Moser, National’s executive vice president.

The gas station buildings on State Street, Jonathan Moore Pike and National Road could be renovated or torn down and rebuilt, Moser said.


Each new Marathon station will include a convenience store, Moser said.

Moser said the renovations will cost $250,000 to $1 million depending on the site. Construction, which would last

60 to 90 days, would begin in about a month at some of the sites, he said. Renovations for all three should be completed by the end of this year, he added.

The Swifty stations removed all gasoline price information from their signs and placed yellow tape around the pumps in Columbus on Monday.

Moser recently asked the Columbus-Bartholomew County Board of Zoning Appeals for a conditional-use permit to build an addition to the now-closed Swifty station at 1521 State St.

The request came before a hearing officer at the May 13 board meeting. A hearing officer’s recommendation of approval is on the agenda for the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

The conditional-use permit would allow National Gas & Oil to nearly double the size of the building on the gas station property, adding 440 square feet to the existing 485-square-foot convenience store.

According to the application, the addition would be on the southwest side of the building. The site plan calls for adding a restroom and more drink cooler space in the newer part of the building.

The Swifty closings mark the end of an era when gas was pumped for customers by employees and discounts were given to those who paid with cash instead of a credit or debit card.

Moser said that cash discounts will still be given to customers, but Marathon employees would not continue pumping gasoline.

The closings were prompted by the death of Swifty Oil owner Don Myers, who founded the company in 1963 with seven gasoline stations and eventually expanded the company to more than 180 stations in five states. He died last July at age 92.

Other Swifty gas stations in Muncie, Richmond, Anderson, Bloomington and Salem and Louisville, Kentucky, also closed recently.

When contacted at its Seymour headquarters, a Swifty representative said the company does not comment on gas station closings.

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