Lacking convenience: Kwik Star to be torn down in New Hartford - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lacking convenience: Kwik Star to be torn down in New Hartford

by John Wilmer

NEW HARTFORD (KWWL) -- Iowa is known for its rural communities, but one town is afraid of just how rural it will become. The June floods forced New Hartford's only gas station to close. Now if residents need gas or general necessities, they have to either drive five miles to Dike, or Eight miles to Parkersburg or Cedar Falls.

Officials with Kwik Star said that the property has been for sale for months and they have had no interested buyers. They also say a deal to donate the building to the city had been on the table too long and the city didn't take any action. New Hartford City officials however, say that isn't true.

John Anderson is on a task force that is working to help New Hartford recover from the floods. This group had been in contact with the Kwik Star company and he thought they were close to a deal that give the city the empty building.

"It was our lifeline. Everybody came in there to buy the things they needed. They didn't want to have to go to town to get them like, milk, eggs, bananas cereal," Anderson said.

With the heavy machinery already here, it seems that it's just a matter of time before this building turns into an empty lot, but that isn't sitting well for many residents.

Justin Nicklaus and Raymond Mobley both own small businesses in New Hartford. They say the loss of the convenience store is a major loss to this community.

"They were building this big place and Parkersburg could take care of us. Why should we drive nine miles west and nine miles back just to do business with them when we don't go that way otherwise," Nicklaus said.

"It's hard on the older people in town and kids in town. Especially the older people that can't drive into Waterloo and Cedar Falls to get stuff," Mobley said.          

City officials say they were finishing up the paper work to take ownership of the property when the Kwik Star company told them last week that they would be tearing the building down.

Officials with Kwik Star say they closed the New Hartford store to focus on building a larger facility in Parkersburg, which was destroyed in the tornado. Workers from New Hartford were offered jobs at other nearby stores.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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