ERIE — The Erie City Council is considering the purchase of a local grocery store to ensure it stays open.

In an Aug. 26 meeting, the council discussed with Shirlene Mahurin the possibility of the city’s purchase of Stub’s Market, 525 W. State St. Under the proposal, the city would operate the grocery store, the only one in Erie, after the purchase.

David “Stub” and Shirlene Mahurin want to retire, but they haven’t been able to sell the store.

During the council meeting, it was noted that other small cities have purchased and are operating grocery stores to maintain local fresh food options for their residents. The council discussed holding town hall meetings to gather public input and possibly placing a question on a special election ballot.

Erie has gone without a grocery store in the past, forcing residents to drive to Parsons or Chanute to shop. Stub’s Market closed in July 2007 after its building was inundated with flood waters. After a long dispute with the insurance company, the building was demolished in 2008. The Mahurins built a new store that reopened in April 2009.

The couple began leasing their store in March 2011 to G&W Foods, but G&W suddenly closed the business in February 2012, again leaving Erie without a grocery store. With encouragement and incentives from the Erie City Council, the Mahurins reopened Stub’s in April 2012.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a change in zoning for property at Second and Grant from single-family residential (R-1) to commercial business district (B-2). Craw-Kan of Girard bought the lot and plans to build an unmanned fiber optic switch gear building. The company provides Erie USD 101 with fiber optic services and plans to add internet, phone and cable service for residents. The fiber optic lines should allow for faster internet speed.

• Agreed to authorize advertising for an electric/water meter reader position.

• Approved an estimate of $1,600 for Alliance Pump to remove and trouble shoot a sewer lift station pump.

• Authorized payment of $2,218.58 to Neosho County for costs associated with the August city primary election.

• Authorized payment of $3,344.87 to White Plumbing for materials and labor for plumbing the fixtures at the new park restroom.

• Met in executive session to consult attorney-client privileged information.

• Authorized payment of $600 to Jake Bielenberg for reimbursement of electric expenses. 

• Approved adding a 0.0534 fuel adjustment to the September utility bills.

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