KASSON, Minn. — Residents of Kasson know that with the Destination Medical Center project, their town located about 15 miles west of Rochester will soon be in high demand.
One retail chain is already looking for their place in town, but it is one many residents are not a fan of.
Curt Dubbels has called a house on 2nd Ave. SW his home for nearly 20 years. It was the place he was hoping to retire to with his wife.
“It looks like the winds of fate are decreeing something a little different here,” Dubbels said.
Soon he is going to be picking up and finding some place new to retire to.
That is because the area where his house sits will soon be turning from a park into a ShopKo pending approval from the city. It is something he was angry about at first, but now he has come to terms with it.
“There’s people that get handed worse deals every day,” Dubbels said.
He said adding a retail store like ShopKo will hopefully be good news for the city, but he has got some flooding concerns.
“The water table here, it comes right up through the floor and there’s times if you get I’d say between three and four inches of rain, about a day and a half later you’ll have some seepage,” Dubbels said.
Many other residents are more upset about the three to one decision to rezone the park.
“It’s a very sad day in our neighborhood, very sad day,” said Judy Ruport of Kasson.
Ruport has spent much of the last few months attending meeting after meeting voicing her concerns with the choice of location. Partially because that is a park she takes her day care kids to frequently, but mainly because of flood issues.
“Oppidan, when they come in are going to do immediate flood control for them and the city says they’re going to do flood control for us, but we had a city council member tell us last night that it’s going to take up to two years to get done,” Ruport said.
She said she is looking forward to the jobs that will be coming to town, but she is worried they might be for the wrong reason.
“If they don’t do the flood control that they’re promising, there’ll be a lot of people employed in Kasson, because I’ll have contractors, we’ll have carpenters, plumbers, we’ll have electricians that are going to be taking care of our flooded houses,” Ruport said.
City leaders say this is just a step in a larger plan the city set up in 2011. That comprehensive plan has the goal of bringing more retail businesses in town, specifically on Manorville Avenue.