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The long dormant store and ODOT reached an accord for moving project to finish line

The continuing saga of the Tractor Supply Co. store in Molalla would appear to have taken a step or two forward recently.

The store, which has been unable to open due to its inability to gain a valid access permit from ODOT, may have reached a deal with the state's transportation entity.

"The issue with Tractor Supply has to do with obtaining a valid access permit from ODOT," said Molalla City Manager Dan Huff. "As part of (Highway) 213, it is not a City of Molalla roadway, so we cannot issue an access permit."

COURTESY PHOTO: DEBORAH GUINTHER - The new Tractor Supply Co. store in Molalla has been dormant for many months as issues of access with ODOT have proven a stumbling block. Molalla City Manager Dan Huff said the two sides have made an agreement to move the project toward a finish and, ultimately, an opening.

That's up to ODOT, which engaged in a meeting with Tractor Supply representatives recently and seemingly came to an agreement, according to Huff.

"They worked out a deal between the two of them on how to get things moving forward," Huff said. "Part of the issue has been ODOT having to take time to solve this problem, then throw in the shutdown, and it has just taken a while. The shutdown is a legitimate issue in this delay."

The agreement, according to Huff, lays out the steps needed to get things going again toward an opening, perhaps by the end of summer. But a timeline hasn't been released.

"They wanted us (City of Molalla) to sign the agreement as a 'we're part of the team' kind of thing," Huff said. "We did sign it last Monday (July 13). The bottom line is that things are moving again, and that's a positive thing for Molalla."

And while the Tractor Supply story may soon have a happy ending — as well as valid access — Huff noted there are other things in the wind.

"This is just my feeling, but we are busy in Molalla right now," he said. "There's been a lot of interest in our nonresidential properties. I think that by fall we are going to see some interesting new ideas come into town.

"Molalla's in a very good spot in terms of where we're located," he added. "And, we have some space for commercial and industrial development that's gaining interest. This community could really use some commercial and industrial development. It's a good thing."


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