IRRR redevelopment grant helps Nashwauk Township

NASHWAUK TOWNSHIP – Nashwauk Township received a commercial redevelopment grant to assist KM Corner Store with the removal and replacement of underground gas tanks and pumps. The store installed a more modern above-ground fuel storage system that serves the 69.5 square-mile rural Itasca County township and its population of 1,670 people.

Nashwauk Township and its residents rely on the store for a multitude of goods and services including grocery and household staples, gas and diesel fuel, propane, burning permits, and disposal tickets for the county’s landfill. In addition, the township is surrounded by lakes and trails that attract a significant number of snowmobilers, ATVers, anglers and seasonal residents who frequent the store for fuel, bait and supplies.

“If KM were to close, township residents would endure significant travel to the nearest gas station and convenience store,” said Beth Ann Mackey, Nashwauk Township clerk. “Living in a rural region should not be a barrier to purchasing basic household goods and services.”

Kerry Lallak has owned the store for over 25 years. She and her husband Mark employ five to eight workers throughout the year and have provided many of the area youth with their first job experience. Through the commercial redevelopment grant and their own private investment, the Lallak’s made the needed improvements to comply with the recommendations of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency which remedied ongoing deterioration to the concrete pads above the underground tanks.

“The commercial redevelopment grant made it financially viable for me to remain in business and provide uninterrupted service to our residents who primarily work in the mining, logging and agriculture industries,” said Kerry. “A larger convenience store franchise may have been able to independently replace the tanks; however, our sales volume and rural location likely would not attract a larger chain business model.”

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation supported this project with a commercial redevelopment grant which paid for the gas tank removal and demolition. KM also received a loan guaranty. Email Chris Ismil at chris.ismil@state.mn.us for grant information or call him at 218-735-3010.

Source: The Ranger, March 20, 2019.

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