- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The tiny town of Chugwater in southeast Wyoming has awarded a bid to bring back the only gasoline for miles around.

Alex Cadar’s $400,000 bid to rebuild on the site of the Horton’s Corner convenience store includes a promise through the federal Community Development Block Grant program to hire around 18 people when the store opens, Chugwater Mayor LaDonna Sand said Monday.

A dozen people lost their jobs when Horton’s Corner burned down in December 2012.

Cadar, of Wheatland, was the lone bidder Friday. But own officials are eager to get going to meet state environmental quality requirements, and Cadar gave a thorough presentation, Sand said.

“He really went the full length and beyond. We were really impressed,” she said.

The town of 215 has been without gas since a man drove off an Interstate 25 exit ramp and crashed, sparking the 2012 blaze. Locals since have had to drive to Wheatland or Cheyenne to gas up. Wheatland is a 25-mile drive to the north. Cheyenne is 45 miles south.

Meanwhile, out-of-towners whose phone apps show there’s still gas in Chugwater continue to be disappointed - if not left high and dry.

The town bought the lot for $400,000 when the owners of Horton’s Corner decided not to rebuild. Cadar has other business experience including working in the oil and gas industry, according to Sand.

He must complete the project by November. He will own the property free and clear after operating the gas station and convenience store and meeting all the grant program’s requirements for five years.

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