The Buc-ee's in Leeds, Alabama. (Photo by Steve Pokin)

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Buc-ee’s, a chain of large convenience stores that typically have over 100 gas pumps, has not had a “reportable spill” or ever been fined or caused an environmental problem in 22 store locations in Texas.

The company plans to build its first store in Missouri in Springfield, off of Interstate 44 at Mulroy Road, which is Exit 84 to 744 (Route 66.)

The Hauxeda filed an open records request with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality early this year to investigate if the company had ever caused an environmental problem that needed to be addressed by the state.

It has not.

A few local critics of the company’s plans to come to Springfield had expressed a concern about the environmental impact.

The Citizen records request went back to the year 2000, in Texas, where the company was founded in 1982. The company has expanded in recent years and has new travel centers in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

The response to the open-records-request did not come quickly enough to be included in two stories — one based on a trip to the Buc-ee’s in Leeds, Alabama — published by the Hauxeda earlier this month.

The next step is for Buc-ee’s to close on the purchase of the 32 acres at the northeast corner of the intersection. The site is across from TLG Peterbilt.

“We anticipate closing any day now,” said Stan Beard Jr., in a Sunday email.

He is the company’s director of real estate and has appeared before the Springfield City Council.

The council voted 7-2 on Jan. 24 to approve a $4.1 tax-incentive deal that the company says it needs to improve the intersection. That figure includes bringing water via City Utilities to the north side of the interstate.

The second part of the incentive package would commence with the creation of a Community Improvement District once Buc-ee’s closes on the property.

In a CID, an additional sales tax is placed on top of the existing sales on purchases made at the store.

In summary, Buc-ee’s will spend, upfront, an estimated $8.5 million (the tax-incentive package is for up to $9.2 million) to improve the intersection not only for its own business but for other potential businesses that might decide, at a later date, to locate nearby.

None of the tax-incentive money can be used for building the Buc-ee’s store or the gas pumps.

The tax money involved would only be sales-tax revenue that would be generated in the future by in-store sales at Buc-ee’s — should it be built.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Hauxeda. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin