The Baker Orange

Living in a two … um, one … um, no gas station town

Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker

Story by Sarah Baker, Editor

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Some Baker students are probably deaf to the biggest two trigger words that are a bane for most Baldwin City residents at the moment: gas station.

Baldwin City had successfully supported two gas stations until this summer when the Kwik Shop took over the building that previously housed the Santa Fe Market. That is the moment when many Baldwin City residents became agitated. At the intersection with the town’s only stoplight, the Kwik Shop used to sit across the street from the locally-owned Santa Fe Market, which was the larger of the two. After the Kwik Shop relocation, the building for the old location now sits vacant.

While “the Kwik,” as students call it, has more pumps and can serve more people with a larger location, it is now the only gas station in Baldwin City. With the nearest gas stations being in Edgerton and Wellsville, both at 10 miles as the crow flies, the Baldwin City Kwik Shop has no direct competition. Based on the recently torn-up concrete and for-lease sign at the old location, it doesn’t appear likely that any competing gas stations will be moving into that prime spot anytime soon.

Last week, signs were posted at the new Kwik location explaining the process for improving the current pumps at the new location by closing half of them at a time, leaving the remaining pumps open. However, last Thursday night, all of the Kwik’s pumps were unexpectedly unavailable, throwing many in the community into a rage. Suddenly, Baldwin City residents had no local option to buy gas.

One particular Facebook page, the Citizens for the Future of Baldwin City Community, is an impromptu news hub for residents and community leaders to interact with each other. It has now become a site for residents to fume about this latest inconvenience. Some were commenting with the hashtag #caseysforbaldwincity or lamenting they that they sometimes must travel outside the city for gas. Even when the pumps are open, the ‘Kwik’ is often too busy for motorists to maneuver their way to the pumps.

On top of the inconvenience factor, the city misses out on much-needed tax dollars when residents go elsewhere to buy gas. With the planning of a community center in the works, that revenue is sorely needed.

The Kwik Shop cannot support all 4,500 Baldwin City residents. I am in the same boat as those #caseysforbaldwincity folks. So if anyone from Casey’s General Stores Inc. is reading this, please know that Baldwin City wants and needs you right now.

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