Casey’s proposes to build store in Kasson
When Jerry and Jane Struthers moved into their home along Mantorville Avenue almost 50 years ago, the street outside their Kasson house was a gravel road.
Much has changed over that time as it has become the busiest road in Kasson next to U.S. Highway 14.
The Struthers are facing yet another challenge as Casey’s wants to buy their house to open a general store between Domino’s and Shopko. But the Struthers aren’t ready to move.
They have declined Casey’s offer to buy their home. “We’re staying,” Jane said. “We’re holding out for more money.”
The major dilemma facing the Struthers is that what Casey’s offered for their house would not come close to paying for a new house in Kasson. “We’ve had the house paid for for years,” Jane said. “We don’t need to start making house payments at our age.”
Since the original offer by Casey’s, store officials have found a way to build the store right next door to the Struthers without uprooting them from their house.
Even though the Struthers aren’t crazy about having a convenience store outside their window, they are still prepared to stay. “We’ve come to terms that we will live with it,” Jane said. “I think it’s terrible. Residential was here first. It’s a shame, but that’s progress.”
The Kasson Planning and Zoning Board passed on a 4-3 vote July 9 to rezone the entire block to General Commercial District, the same business district as what Shopko falls under.
On July 11, the Kasson City Council approved a different motion to rezone all but Struthers’ lot to commercial conditional on the passing of a conditional use permit. The CUP goes before the Planning and Zoning Board on Aug. 6, and the full council will take up the plan on Aug. 8.
Five other property owners have agreed to sell seven lots to Casey’s, according to Theresa Coleman, city administrator. She isn’t exactly clear on when Casey’s would begin construction if the city passes the proposal.
Robert Brown of Mantorville, whose mother owns two of the lots, appeared before the council. “I don’t understand why there are people that don’t like this idea,” Brown said, noting Casey’s treated him with the utmost respect and provided him with a deal that was “fair and just.”
“Casey’s would be a really good fit for Kasson,” Brown said. “Maybe that will help bring other businesses in here which helps bring tax revenue to a city which is very important.”
In the Struthers case, Casey’s is willing to work with them and plant trees and build a fence as a buffer, Coleman said.
Coleman is pleased with Casey’s proposal to come to Kasson as retail recruitment has been identified as one of the city’s top priorities. She said the Casey’s store fits into the city’s plans of developing a commercial corridor along Mantorville Avenue from Highway 14 to the historic Main Street.
But the Struthers are saddened that commercial development comes at the expense of homeowners. “I think they should be more worried about getting another exit to this town than ripping out houses,” Jane said. “It’s a shame to see these pretty homes go away.”
Casey’s would become the second gas station in a community of nearly 6,200 residents. Casey’s also has a store in Mantorville.