Wow what a great night! About 60 turned out to the Keizer Fire Hall for a Grocery Store Town Hall meeting. All of the Keizer City Council was there as was Mayor Cathy Clark. There were lots of great questions from Keizer folks and great suggestions from they and the councilors and mayor. We had a realtor explain land use and grocery stores to us, as well as Rick Orcutt of the Orcutt grocery stores (there was an Orcutts where Goodwill is now). He really helped the discussion. We accomplished what I had hoped for and that was a chance for people to be heard.
Here’s how I would summarize it: The majority of the people when asked, wanted a Winco but there also was a desire for SOMETHING more than we have. Many remarked about the fact that Keizer once had 3-4 grocery stores. We had an explanation of what it takes to get a grocer to come, one of the factors is that they look at 5,000 “rooftops” meaning homes per store…Keizer has 15,000 so we should be in the market for at least one more store. Some of the “rumors” about stores and situations were put to rest by very reliable sources in the crowd and at the table. One was that Winco was turned down by Keizer because they are open 24 hours, that is NOT true. Another was that Roth’s was not ever coming back. That is not true, they are working on one store now in another area, and Councilor Koho said that Michael Roth is very open to the idea. The “threat” of WalMart coming to Keizer Station is what drove Roths away. It was explained by Mr. Grabenhorst and well known realtor that Winco might require a larger location than what Keizer can offer. Mr. Orcutt said that “Winco is not going to give up so much business at the other locations to build a store in Keizer”. There was talk of a smaller version such as in Independence, the WareMart. The Mayor and councilors emphasized how much they have tried to get stores to come but Keizer doesn’t have a business tax so there’s no “cut” or “incentive” that way, there are not “enterprise zones” and so the “incentive” is just that we are ready for anyone to come on in! Overall I thought it was a very educated and well discussed issue. Everyone seemed to be very happy with the chance to hear and be heard. Now I hope that we can convince some grocery store ownership to come to Keizer! As Mayor Clark said: “Keizer is open for business!”
Special thanks to Mayor Cathy Clark, Councilors Brandon Smith, Amy Ryan, Roland Herrera, Dennis Koho and Kim Freeman (Councilor Marlene Parsons was ill and couldn’t attend), also Fire Chief Jeff Cowan and his staff.
Here is a video of the opening portion with introductions and statements from each at the table: