A “tired, old” gas station in northwest Independence is primed to get a big facelift soon.

The BP station at U.S. 24 and River Boulevard (on the opposite corner from Hi-Boy) has an inoperable car wash in the back, and Council Member John Perkins said the area between the car wash and fence has become a gathering spot for vagrants.

The Independence City Council on Tuesday approved the liquor license at that location for the new proprietors, who plan to tear down the car wash, build a new convenience store, take out the small existing store in the middle of the canopy and add more gas pumps. The location would be rebranded a Phillips 66 Stop & Shop.

Richard Bryant, the attorney representing the owners, said they will be making an approximately $1.8 million investment.

“It's quite dated and – we'll be gentle – pretty ugly,” Bryant said.

The owner, Kewal Singh, owns four other gas stations in Eastern Jackson County.

Dave Achten of fuel supplier Carter Energy said the location is a “tired, old facility” and the revamped station will be similar to the new QuikTrip stores, if not as large a footprint.

“We're getting rid of a facility that is tired, underperforming and is an eyesore,” Achten said.

Phillips 66 does have another location a half-mile west on U.S. 24 at Forest Avenue, along the Independence-Sugar Creek border.

ELECTRIC CARS AND CHARGING STATIONS: The council voted to send back to staff a recommendation for a lease with MC Power for electric vehicle charging stations and electric vehicles. The council has promoted increasing electric charging stations around the city, as well as replacing city fleet vehicles with electric vehicles if feasible.

The request for proposals the city put out was for leasing or purchasing charging stations. The city had issued a separate invitation to bid on electric and hybrid vehicles in April but withdrew that in August.

MC Power's proposal for a five-year lease for 25 charging stations was more than twice every other finalist at $754,800, and its alternate proposal of 10 charging stations and 10 electric vehicles at $657,000 for five years was still more than twice.

Only Cable-Dahmer offered an alternative for vehicles – purchasing at $33,000.

City Manager Zach Walker said the MC Power offer was recommended because of the opportunity to jumpstart city vehicle fleet replacement in addition to the charging stations. He said $75,000 is budgeted this year – and money will continue to be budgeted – for replacing city vehicles mainly in community development with codes officers.

“We're getting desperately low on that,” Walker said of fleet replacement.

Council members in general want to see a less fragmented recommendation and better comparison of vendors.

“While I appreciate the creativity, I would like to put this back for a couple weeks … so we're really doing a fair comparison,” Mayor Eileen Weir said, hoping to see the same type of proposals from responding vendors.

“I want to be able to compare apples to apples,” Council Member Mike Huff said.

Council Member Karen DeLuccie said she would want to see responses for both charging stations and vehicles, but “I don't want a married proposal.”

ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES: The council voted to amend the ordinance regarding all-terrain vehicles, allowing law enforcement or other government agency employees to use ATVs on public streets, including rights-of-way, alleys, sidewalks or other public property.

Members of the public are also prohibited from using ATVs on parks and other public property, and those cannot be driven on streets. Previously, private property was the only location any person could operate an ATV.