By Pam Robinson
This Thursday, Nov. 8, Iowa-based Casey’s General Store is asking for a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals in regard to its property along and around East Fourth Street in Mount Vernon, where Gerton’s Auto Sales was once located, across from McDonald’s restaurant. According to Mindy Bourne, Executive Director of the Area Plan Commission, Casey’s side yard is too close to its property line along the alley—only 4 feet from the alley rather than the typical 20 feet.
If the Board of Zoning Appeals approves the variance, Bourne continued, then the Area Plan Commission will meet to decide whether or not to approve Casey’s site plan project. Bourne said Casey’s needs both approvals to receive a permit to construct.
According to the corporate profile on Casey’s webpage (www.caseys.com), “Casey’s General Stores, Inc., headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, owns and operates 1,700 convenience stores in 12 Midwestern states. The stores offer self-service gasoline, a wide variety of grocery items, and prepared foods, such as made-from-scratch pizza and donuts, chicken tenders, and sandwiches. Casey’s operates its own distribution center, delivering approximately 70 percent of the gasoline and 90 percent of in-store products.
“The first stores opened in 1968 in small towns throughout Iowa. As of April 30, 2010, nearly 61 percent of Casey’s stores are located in towns with populations under 5,000; 75percent are located in towns under 10,000. The company has a strong balance sheet and owns nearly all of its assets, enabling it to take advantage of growth opportunities.”
Indeed, company spokesman, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William J. Walljasper, confirmed in a telephone interview that Mount Vernon’s size and location in Indiana make it attractive.
“Our business model is the little bit smaller, rural community. As we continue to push in Indiana, Mount Vernon seemed to meet the criteria of population and traffic count and some other factors,” Walljasper stated.
If Casey’s meets with approval, the Mount Vernon store will open around the middle of 2013.
By Pam Robinson
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