Hartford annexation approved for possible convenience store build
Casey’s General Store eyes site at intersection of Highway 60/Liberty Avenue


Feb. 28, 2018

Whitney Wagner of Hartford, left, and Adam Lacross of Slinger work on deconstructing a structure on the lot of what could be Casey’s General Store on Tuesday afternoon in Hartford.
John Ehlke/Daily News

HARTFORD — The annexation of slightly less than two acres to the city for the possible construction of a convenience store was unanimously approved by the Common Council on Tuesday during its regular monthly meeting.

Gary and Laura Doll sought annexation of the property in the town of Hartford on the city’s west side on the northwest corner of the intersection of Highway 60 and Liberty Avenue. If the project moves ahead as proposed the Dolls could soon be selling the property to allow the construction of a Casey’s General Store.

The city’s Plan Commission, in January, approved the site plan for the 1.8 acre property, which consists of three lots — at 7378, 7380 and 7390 Highway 60 West.

Two people spoke in opposition of the annexation request. One, the owner of another local convenience store who complained that added business competition has already hurt his bottom line and the construction of another such business will only hurt his business more.

“We can’t vote against this just because it means more competition for your business,” said Alderman Wayne Rusniak. “We have the free enterprise system and it is not up to us to judge if there are enough convenience stores. We can do that about bars, but not about this kind of a business.”

David Doll owns a farm directly across the street from the proposed site of the new convenience store. He is against the proposal.

“My farm has been in my family for over 100 years and I want to continue to farm,” Doll said. “But this and other increased traffic really causes problems with traffic in that area. Many times traffic is backed up on Highway 60 at that intersection. The (electronic) stop light doesn’t seem to recognize farm equipment so the light can turn red just as I’m entering the intersection.

“This is an agriculture area and there is a lot of agriculture traffic around there,” Doll said. “The highway also narrows from four to two lanes and there is no shoulder which causes problems for traffic trying to merge into traffic.”

Other council members agreed about there being increased safety concerns about Highway 60 in that area.

“We need to have the state come here and look at those traffic issues,” said Alderman Joe Kohler.

“It’s only going to get worse,” said Alderman Roger Randolph.

City Administrator Steve Volkert said he will talk to Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials about the increasing traffic concerns in the area being annexed.

“We’ll see if we can get the best they will allow,” Volkert said.

Sparks fly off the tool used by Whitney Wagner of Hartford as he and other members of Bill Wagner and Son work on deconstructing a structure on the lot of what could be Casey’s General Store on Tuesday afternoon in Hartford.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Arc Design Resources of Loves Park, Illinois, is in charge of the project’s preliminary design plans.

The proposed store would include 10 fuel pump stations and a convenience store with numerous prepackaged and fresh food options. If all needed approvals are obtained additional details regarding landscaping, building design and engineering would come before the Plan Commission as part of a more in-depth site plan review.”

According to the site plan, the proposed fuel canopy would be toward the east end of the property and two driveways would be used at the new business. One would access Liberty Avenue. Given the presence of a raised median on Liberty Avenue between Highway 60 and Thiel Street, this driveway would have to be a right-turn only entrance and exit only.

Entrance and exit would be allowed via another driveway connected to a existing strip mall located on the north side of the annexed property. No direct access to or from Highway is proposed as part of the plan.

According to the company’s website, Casey’s General Stores Inc. is a chain of convenience stores in the Midwestern U.S. The company is headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa.

James Pistillo, vice president of accounting and treasurer of Casey’s General Stores Inc., said the company has been meeting with city officials to discuss various permits and other details to potentially position the company to build. Pistillo said when the property purchase is finalized that usually starts a six-month building process, weather permitting.