Casey's General Store will open Thursday.
The store at the intersection of U.S. 6 and Route 178, north of Utica, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There will be an official grand opening and ribbon cutting Saturday, May 12, according to Utica Mayor David Stewart.
“I was in the store this week and it's really a very nice building,” Stewart said.
Business plans 40-foot move
Stonehead Leather, 627 Clark St., plans to move north of its current location in about one month.
Keith Arwood said he was just “tired of being wet.” Arwood was referring to the fact that the business he owns with his wife, Darsi, has been flooded four times in the past few years.
“I'll still be located in the flood plain, but I'm planning on elevating the new building,” Arwood said. “I'm really just tired of being flooded out.
“The new place won't have any signs or banners all over the place,” Arwood continued. “We'll have maybe a couple and a new one in the back of the lot. They'll be a sidewalk in front and I'm working with Kevin (Heitz, Village Engineer) on handicap accessibility plans. I'm hoping to get this all done and ready for business in about a month.”
The Arwoods, who have been riding motorcycles for about 40 years, specialize in motorcycle leather and motorcycle riding accessories. Heitz said he and Arwood have been discussing this move for the last two years.
“He can do this project,” Heitz said. “He'll need to bring us a site plan review — parking lot, handicap accessibility and how his plans will fit with relation to the new building.”
Stewart said Arwood would have to review his plans with Public Works Department Director and Superintendent Curt Spayer before giving the village board more information.
“It's just very nice of you to let us know what's going on before the building is completed,” Stewart said. “We really appreciate that.”
Dredging the canal
“20 years ago, the Illinois and Michigan Canal was dug out and water was running. What is being done about the canal today?” a resident asked the board.
Stewart said the Illinois Department of Natural Resources denied the village a dredging permit.
“And, it's a very high cost project to clean out the canal,” Stewart said. “The village is in the planning stages of bringing the Pork Fest back and those proceeds will go toward the canal's restoration. Kevin, Curt and I have been discussing how to make this happen. I can't give you a time frame but we know this is a major project for us.”
The village board approved five donation requests: Waltham PTCC Annual Pancake Breakfast, $300; Horizon House Road to Independence Campaign in Peru, $50; Special Olympics, $150; Kids Fishing Expo at Baker Lake in Peru, $50; and Central States Regional Tournament in Peru during July, $75.