The future of a new store for SuperOne Foods is still up in the air, after no decision was made at a special Walker City Council public meeting June 4.
Representatives from Miner’s Inc., the company that owns SuperOne Foods, council members and interested parties attended the meeting that lasted about 50 minutes.
The proposed site for the grocery store is along Highway 371 south of town across from Lucky Moose Restaurant and Country Inn.
In a letter sent to the council May 16, Miner’s said they are committed to provide groceries to city residents and the surrounding community, and have worked over the last three years to develop plans for a new and larger modern grocery store in Walker. Miner’s requested the city relinquish the access granted by MnDOT from the dead-end platted but unbuilt highway connections for Summit and Onigum avenues, for a private driveway with turn lanes off Highway 371 to a driveway type approach to the new store, with no access to town from 371.
Other requests made by Miner’s were for municipal utility services for the project, and that the city work cooperatively with SuperOne on required applications for such a development.
The council’s proposal is to extend Tower Avenue from the Walker Area Community Center down to 371 using the Osakis Drive as the entrance, including sewer and water. This would include a round-about approach that MnDOT desires.
The city would pay about $600,000 with Miner’s Inc., paying the remainder, which could be up to $1.5 million.
Mayor Jed Shaw said they want the project to happen, but there are some things the council can’t do, such as close approaches and land-lock private property.
Shaw asked Tim Kielman of Miner’s, who along with SuperOne Walker Store Manager Mark McKenna were in attendance, whether the company was willing to do the Tower Avenue plan.
Kielman said they don’t want to increase their costs, and it would probably be a longer period of time before the store is built.
One property owner’s attorney voiced that the owner does not want her property land-locked unless there is some compensation.
Safety concerns were also discussed with vehicles turning left onto Highway 371 in the summer, if no round-about approach is included in the project.
After hitting an impasse, it was decided no decision would be made for now, but Shaw added, “We’ve gone a little further down the road. We want to find an avenue to where we can work with you on Tower Avenue and the cost of the project to make this happen.”
Kielman said the project is based on timing, adding that Mineer’s doesn’t want to wait another five to 10 years to get the store built.
Shaw assured them it will be quicker than that.