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Vina breaks ground on new gas station, convenience store

When a fire destroyed the only gas station in Vina in early 2019, several members of the town were discouraged and wondered when the town would see a gas station return to the community.

That time has finally come, as Dec. 3 people from across the town gathered together for the official groundbreaking to begin construction on the new Mountain Express Convenience Store on Highway 19 at the location of the previous gas station.

“We appreciate everyone for coming out to this,” said Vina Mayor Michael Moomaw. “This just really confirms to me that there are people who still love this town and are willing to do anything for it.”

More than 50 people were present for the groundbreaking, with several local leaders in attendance, including State Rep. Jamie Kiel, Vina city council members and members of the Franklin County Commission.

“It is so great to see this finally happening,” said Probate Judge and Commission Chairman Barry Moore. “This is something Vina has been needing for a while.”

County Commissioner Jason Miller echoed Moore’s statement, saying the new store will be beneficial to the town.

“Even just to have a place where everyone can get gas will be great,” he said, “but everything else in addition to that just makes this even more special.”

The Mountain Express Convenience Store will be a 2,500-square-foot building with an old country store front. The inside will feature a traditional convenience store and a hot bar that will serve breakfast and lunch.

On the east side of the building will be a concrete slab with an awning where live music can be played or where picnic tables can be set up for people to enjoy a meal.

“We are just excited to know that we are going to be able to see a store built,” Moomaw said.

Workers will begin excavating to prepare for the new store in late December or early January, with the store planning to open in early spring 2021.

Moomaw said the company that owns the convenience store is also looking at purchasing two additional properties behind the store to expand, but there are still no definitive plans.

“I just can’t express to this company how grateful we are to them for the vision they have in Vina,” Moomaw said. “We are really excited for what all is to come.”