Archive for Friday, November 3, 2006

Residents say store will fill void

November 3, 2006

The rumors finally are true.

And longtime Basehor residents are welcoming the news of a grocery store opening in the city.

Mary Ann Mogle, Basehor city clerk and resident for almost 30 years, said the city will benefit greatly from the grocery store.

"It's about time," she said. "We're very excited and know that this will definitely be an asset for Basehor because it will also bring other economic development along with it."

Keith Sifford, who has served on the Basehor City Council for several years, agreed that the new store would be an asset to the community because of the development it will bring, but also because citizens have been asking for it for a long time.

"That's one of the number one things we hear about the city is that we need a store," he said. "Hopefully this is something the citizens want."

Plans were announced this week that a store would be constructed at the northeast corner of 155th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40, with hopes that it will open late next summer.

Word is spreading fast about the store, according to Lila White, president of the Friends of the Basehor Community Library and chamber of commerce member. The 14-year resident said the business will bring some much needed tax dollars back into the city and fill a void that has been felt by residents since Bichelmeyer Brothers grocery store was destroyed by a fire in December 2001.

"The consensus on Monday was that we're overjoyed we're finally going to get another grocery store in town," she said. "It's been a long time coming since we lost our last grocery store. I've missed it since Bichelmeyer's burned down."

While Basehor's last grocery store closed because of damage from a fire, Lela Wiley, resident since the 1950s, said she has seen several businesses in Basehor come and go because of lack of local support. She said that having a grocery store in town will not only be more convenient than traveling to Bonner Springs or other cities, but it also will provide residents an opportunity to show their support for the growing city.

"We need a grocery store bad," she said. "I bought all my groceries from Bichelmeyer's unless they didn't have something. If we don't support our local people, we're going to lose things. We need business here."

Jim Washington, an active resident and former Basehor planning commissioner, said he will be supporting the new business. He agreed that it will not only bring convenience to residents, but a much-needed tax base to the city.

"It's great that we have an anchor for what looks like a nice retail development," he said. "I'm glad that someone is willing to roll the dice, and I think they'll be very successful. I understand that it is going to be a little upscale. If they indeed put it in on that kind of a basis, there will be no question we'll be shopping there."

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