Residents start petition to bring grocery store to Lindsay

LINDSAY, Texas (KXII) -- A small Cooke County community has been without a grocery store for decades so residents started a petition hoping to change that.

The town of Lindsay, Texas has plenty of charm and character, what it doesn't have is a grocery store.

"With more and more traffic in town and Gainesville growing, it is to the point where we need one," Lindsay resident Stanley Hess said. "I know that because I live here."

Hess says he bought land to build a store but the city won't let him.

He says the mayor, Don Metzler, claims he doesn't have the correct permits.

"They tell you to go get this permit and that one," Hess said. "I do and then they change it again. I have asked them a million times for a list of what I need. They have never given me anything."

The closest full service grocery store is about twenty minutes away in Gainesville and residents in Lindsay say they are fed up.

"I am a mom and I work so anything that can save me time and a trip is worth it," Meredith Wolf said.

A group of frustrated locals started an online petition and for a town of about 1,000 people, it has nearly 800 signatures.

"The city might want to open their ears and listen to the community," Hess said. "They are the ones that elected you in and will be the ones to elect you out."

Hess said not only would the grocery store be convenient, it would bring in jobs and tax revenue.

"I am fighting for our community, not for myself, for them," Hess said.

Mayor Don Metzler issued this statement on Monday:

The City of Lindsay wants this grocery store as much as Mr. Hess. The City has worked for seven years to make his dream a reality. To this end, the City originally signed a Developer's Agreement with Mr. Hess in November, 2011 to provide financial incentives for the project. The City also annexed the remaining part of his property that was not already within the city limits and amended our alcohol ordinance to allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages at his store. Mr. Hess was told then that he would need to provide a preliminary plat of his property for our professional staff to review using the city's zoning ordinance and a set of engineered building plans to review using our building codes.

After he bought a second piece of property closer to the center of town, the city once again informed him that he would need to submit a preliminary plat and an engineered set of building plans for review. We have not received those documents to review as of today.

With regards to "permits", the only permit that Mr. Hess would need for his first location was one from TXDOT concerning entrances onto Highway 82. He did obtain a conditional permit for them. Building permits for any structure in Lindsay would be issued by the City after a complete review of plats and plans and final approval by city's professional staff.

I have never "claimed he doesn't have the correct permits" as presented in the story. I have said that he has not presented the preliminary plat and building plans for his current location. I would also like to point out that the closest full service grocery store is only about seven miles away. Our city's population is about 1040 and I seriously doubt that the 800 signatures mentioned in the article who have signed the on-line petition all live in and around Lindsay.

The City of Lindsay will continue to work diligently with Mr. Hess to make his dream a reality. I also want the citizens of Lindsay to know that we are 100% in agreement with them that this is a major benefit for the citizens of the town and the financial welfare of the city.

Thank you,
Donald L. Metzler, Mayor

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