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West Point doesn't have a gas station or a grocery store within the city limits, and that fact concerns the mayor and City Council.

Since the Big Vern's on 300 North, next to the city offices, closed several years ago, residents have to patronize gas pumps outside city limits.Most council members, like Mark Thayne, said residents periodically ask them when new businesses might be locating in the city.

Mayor Howard Stoddard said business prospects in the city may soon be blossoming again.

The city owns the old Big Vern's Service Station and has awarded a $5,600 contract to Petro-Lane to remove the old underground gasoline tanks at the station.

West Point must remove or replace the tanks because state health officials said they have leaked, contaminating surrounding soil.

Once the city removes the old gasoline tanks, it may signal to prospective gasoline-convenience store chains that West Point does not intend to reopen Big Vern's.

West Point has almost no sales tax base and the council wants to work at attracting new business to the city, a long-time bedroom community and rural area.