MURRAY — Murray is getting a Casey’s General Store.
After the town’s convenience store left in February 2012, there was a need for another one.
A committee was formed to bring in a business. Mayor Nik Werner said he went to college with a man who is “rather high up” in Casey’s, and he called him to see if something could be worked out.
“The city of Murray did a whole lot,” Werner said. “The citizens put together, I think we had 1,000 signatures, or something like that, for a petition saying, ‘hey, we would like to get Casey’s in here.’”
Officials with Casey’s did six inspections of Murray and found the city would be a viable community for a Casey’s store.
It will be located directly south of the school. The store will have pizza, but Werner said he didn’t know if the fresh-made subs would be available.
“That is still kind of in negotiations with Casey’s,” he said. “This is a done deal as far as, ‘Yes, we’re getting a store.’ Plans could change just a little bit as to what we’re going to have. It will have gas, incidental groceries, pizza and food.”
Werner added, there will be three fuel pumps with service on both sides for diesel and gas.
Werner said the location of the store is ideal because the school district has had a large influx of students open-enrolling.
“There is a need for (it),” he said. “People are wanting to get to the area, we just don’t have the amenities.”
Werner said he knew 2013 will be a pivotal year for progress in Murray.
“We’re either going to turn and go the right direction,” he said, “or we’re going to keep the status quo and keep going the way of most southern Iowa small towns, and kind of decaying into just becoming a bedroom community with no amenities. You just, you come home, you raise your kids there, you send them to school, and then you go off to work somewhere else.”
Werner said between Casey’s and the school bond issue for an addition to be built to the school building, there’s almost $4 million being influxed into the city’s infrastructure.
Werner said he hopes a convenience store with gas, food, and pizza might entice other businesses to open in Murray.
As for when the store might open, it takes six to eight weeks to build a Casey’s.
“Ideally, I’d like to see it up end of spring, first of summer, so we can hit the summer crowds to where we have a lot going on in Murray with extracurricular activities,” Werner said. “There’s a lot of people around the school. The school is the hub of activity in Murray.”
Werner added, he’d be surprised if it wasn’t up by June or July. However, construction is always dictated by the weather.
“It was a community effort to get them here, and it will be a community effort to keep them here,” Werner said.