Northern Marion County is a fuel desert
The county’s towns north of 290th Rd. no longer have fuel service, and residents are feeling the effects.
Steve Jirak of Ramona delivers mail in Ramona and Tampa areas. He was found filling gas at Lincolnville on Thursday.
When asked why he went so far out of his way to fuel up, he said Lincolnville’s fuel pumps are the closest to his farm. Fuel is no longer available in Tampa and has not been available for a while in Lost Springs and Ramona.
Jirak said Cardie Oil had pumps in Tampa until the pumps had problems, and the owner did not want to fix them. The owner could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Jirak plans to install a bulk tank at his farm.
David Mueller of rural Tampa said not having the pumps is a real inconvenience. He has to fuel up at Durham or Lincolnville.
“I wish they would have given us notice,” he said. “The pumps broke and they just put up a sign.”
The closure doesn’t impact Clark Davis of Tampa because he travels out of town a lot and can fill up at other places. He has an account at Agri-Trails Coop Station in Durham.
Not having a local fuel source is not a good situation, said David Rziha of Tampa. It impacts the towns, he said. The closest fueling place for him is Durham.
“We would love to have fuel in Tampa,” he said.
Mueller is hoping a local source for fuel will be available again someday.
Agri Trails has an elevator in Tampa.
“The co-op stepped up when we needed tire service. Maybe they will again,” he said.
Last modified Dec. 23, 2019