Proctor residents debate whether Kwik Trip rezoning could solve - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Proctor residents debate whether Kwik Trip rezoning could solve 'food desert' problem

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PROCTOR, MN -

The decision to rezone for a Kwik Trip on the Duluth-Proctor border has stirred up some controversy among neighboring businesses, residents and the Duluth City Council.

The proposed Kwik Trip would be located along Boundary Avenue nearby several businesses.

KBJR 6 spoke with all sides of the issues on Thursday many label Proctor as a 'food desert'.  

Some say what groceries a couple local businesses provide is enough for the area. Others say those don't have a variety that Kwik Trip would supply.  

It depends on who you talk with. 

"What I'm trying to do is survive in my little area," said Shaine Stokke, the owner of Stokke's Meat Market.

However, Zenith Terrace's Corey Stubner contradicted saying, "they just fill a niche that the local stores are not providing."

Those in favor of a Kwik Trip on Boundary Avenue are optimistic.

"Myself and my residents wanted to be that voice," said Stubner.

Those who are opposed like Stokke say, "you gotta fight till the bitter end."

Many have referred to Proctor as a 'food desert.'

Residents at Zenith Terrace are hopeful a Kwik Trip will be a solution.

"There was a common core that kept coming up," said Stubner. "They sell bread for 79 cents, eggs for 99 cents, great prices on all of their dairy products."

They feel Kwik Trip would provide a larger variety of groceries in the immediate area, and the fact it's in walking distance is a plus.

"Some of my older residents which Terrace is mainly comprised of, it's more of a task for them to drive to Super One to get what they need," Stubner added. 

But neighboring business owners say they have a sufficient grocery supply.

"I'm next to a Holiday. A Kwik Trip... now I'll be next to both of them. It's just too much," said Stokke. "It's saturation. We're all selling the same stuff. I'm a little more unique with the meat, but still I will need all the sales."

Duluth City Council president, Joel Sipress, met with the businesses that say Kwik trip would impact them.

"Once I examined it myself, it wasn't clear to me from the point of view of really filling the void in Proctor for groceries whether a Kwik Trip was really that much of an upgrade from what is already there," said Sipress.

This week, the City Council voted to rezone the area for a Kwik Trip in a five to three vote.

However, the next day the council learned it they needed a super majority vote, which is the support of at least six of the nine councilors.

City councilors will introduce a motion to reconsider the issue this upcoming Monday. 

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