CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Parkways Authority members approved a new contract Thursday for operations of service stations at the West Virginia Turnpike's travel plazas -- a contract that extends to the theoretical end of the Turnpike's life as a toll road.
For Parkways, the new seven-year contract with the current service stations operator, PM Terminals of Roanoke, Va., should mean about $75,000 in increased revenue each year, for an estimated total of $891,000 annually, according to general manager Greg Barr.
"I was pleased they actually increased the rate they bid over the previous contract," Barr said after the special board meeting. "Just to go up was good for us."
Under the bid proposal, PM will pay Parkways:
| 11.07 cents for each gallon of gasoline sold, up from the current 10.57 cents.
| 10.10 cents for each gallon of diesel sold, up from 10.06 cents.
| 20 percent of revenue for sales of snacks, beverages and any other products sold at the service plazas, up from 16 percent.
The percentage increase in those items triggers a clause in the contract with food service operator HMS Host for a 2 percent increase in its payments to Parkways for its sale of those snack and beverage items, expected to provide $25,000 a year of additional revenue.
The contract runs though 2019, the year that bonds to finance the Turnpike will be paid off, potentially marking the end of its operations as a toll road.
"It gives opportunities with whatever they decide to do with Parkways at that time," Barr said of extending the contract to 2019.
It's not clear what will happen to the travel plazas if tolls on the Turnpike are removed. Federal Department of Transportation regulations prohibit travel plazas on interstates, but allow exceptions for various toll roads around the country, Barr said.