(Editor's note: The following is an open letter to the residents of Wilmington from Roy and Becky Holzer, operators of the Little Super Market.)
On Monday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., the Wilmington Planning Board will convene at the Community Center to discuss our application to add retail gasoline services at the Little Super Market.
As many are aware, Wilmington has not had a gas station since April of 2013 when the 7-Eleven corporation closed Wilson Farms, the result of which has added to the challenges we face as a community.
Recently, a public hearing was conducted for residents to either support or oppose our application. Among our many supporters, there were a few neighboring property owners that were clearly opposed to our application of adding gasoline services to the Little Super Market.
Although I can understand some of our neighbors' concerns, the entire area is zoned for commercial use. In fact, many commercial businesses once hailed on this strip of Route 86. Even our Little Super Market has been in business in at this location for over 50 years.
Getting into the gasoline business is a incredibly costly and time-consuming endeavor. Some experts in the industry will tell you that the return on investment is minimal, especially in a community the size of Wilmington.
Many of my friends have asked why we would leverage ourselves to bring this service to Wilmington. The answer is simple: if we lack basic amenities, businesses will continue to close and young residents will leave our town. If this happens, the future prospects for Wilmington residents will be bleak indeed.
Before deciding on the Little Super Market location, we looked at other sites for this project, everything from trying to lease Wilson Farms to adding another store at the Holiday Lodge property. For many reasons, neither worked out. Currently, no other convenience store companies are interested in locating in Wilmington.
I ask for your support by attending the Planning Board meeting or writing a letter.
Roy and Becky Holzer