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Tonica mayor: New Casey’s likely to result in more than 5% hike in sales tax income

Out-of-town traffic encouraging as travel stop opening nears

Tonica officials are expecting increased out-of-town traffic with the new Casey's, which should result in more sales tax revenue.
Tonica officials are expecting increased out-of-town traffic with the new Casey's, which should result in more sales tax revenue.

TONICA — Jack Kusek, village engineering consultant, updated the Tonica board Monday on recent and anticipated steps toward the opening of the new Casey’s General Store, situated at 119 Ray Richardson Road.

Having completed a general inspection Friday, Kusek has prepared a certificate of occupancy to be conveyed, pending the outcome of a final La Salle County Health Department inspection on Wednesday, Nov. 20, he said to the Tonica Village Board Monday.

With these steps successfully completed, Casey’s will open early Thursday morning.

This is good news to the village of Tonica.

As final steps were being taken in recent days, with systems and signs being tested, various board members have witnessed several cars pulling in, with drivers not realizing the store wasn’t yet open — including vehicles with out-of-state plates.

Village president Kevin Sluder acknowledges that fuel pumps for semi-trucks are few (four pumps, three spots), yet he believes that “it’s going to get busy” at this store.

Though not completely certain of total gains, Sluder anticipates a definite increase in sales tax revenues — perhaps as much as 5%.

When asked about his vision for prospects for use of the old Casey’s building at 306 S. First St., Sluder indicated that he would like to see the opening of a medical clinic at that location.

Acknowledging that this might be a “longshot”, he believes this would be a nice addition, recognizing that there are nearly 1,500 people within a 5-mile radius of Tonica without such a clinic nearby.

In other matters, Kusek updated the board on efforts to arrange for a sidewalk to accommodate foot traffic to and along Ray Richardson Road, in the area of the new Casey’s store.

Receiving a favorable response from the Casey’s site superintendent regarding village plans, and having submitted these plans for relevant county approval, Kusek indicated the village will need to await the county’s response, following the upcoming highway committee meeting, which is Wednesday.

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