East Morton Circle K ditches pump, wants video gaming

By Gary Scott on July 4, 2016 at 11:49am

City officials in Jacksonville are shining some light on the removal of gas pumps from a popular gas station on East Morton Avenue.

Alderwoman Lori Large-Oldenettel revealed during last week’s City Council meeting that management at the Circle K station decided to take out the gas tanks, and that the store will no longer offer gas service.

No explanation has apparently been given for why the pumps were taken out, but Mayor Andy Ezard noted that he received a call from corporate management from Circle K, and was told they wanted to put install a video gaming parlor at the station.

Ezard doesn’t think that will happen, however.

“They’re looking at ways to keep revenue up, and that a gaming parlor would help them with machines. I indicated on a message that I left to the folks there that we’re in a position, and the City Council made it every evident months back that we are comfortable with just two gaming parlors, and that that probably would not go if they put that in request with writing,” he says.

Ezard says the only way Circle K could get video gaming machines would be through a pouring license. He says the station only has a convenience store license currently.

“How Jiffy Stop down the road, and Hannel’s down the road get around that, being gas stations and convenience store, is because of a rule that they’re considered a truck stop. That they sit on over three acres of property. The Circle K doesn’t, and that’s not a city rule, that’s a state rule,” Ezard explains.

“So, we’d have to issue them another liquor license in another category, for them to provide a pouring license, and then they could have gaming like any bar or tavern that have applied. But, at this time, our council’s on record that that won’t happen,” he continues.

Ezard noted the gas station had existed at that location for a long time; before it was Circle K, it was the old WareCo station.