Jonesboro community split on possible downtown convenience store

Jonesboro community split on possible downtown convenience store

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  Kum & Go opened its seventh convenience store in Jonesboro Thursday.

The gas station sits on Southwest Drive on the same land where an old Kum & Go store was located.

This grand opening raised questions about a proposal for an eighth Kum & Go. The company drew up site plans to build another store on the empty lot between Main and Church Streets, where Central Baptist Church was at one time located.

Otis Spriggs, the city's planning and zoning director, said Kum and Go has not contacted his department or submitted any paperwork yet.

However, the proposal is already facing opposition before any signs of construction, or official plans to buy it for that matter, have surfaced. Several people living in that area have posted signs opposing Kum & Go's plans and they're petitioning the city to stop the plan.

Some downtown Jonesboro regulars are on their side.

"There's already five million gas stations in town," Kayla Gates said. "There's a gas station just right over the bridge."

"The traffic would be too bad for a Kum & Go over here where they want to put it," Bobby Gates said "Traffic's bad enough as it is."

However, some downtown Jonesboro employees are for the convenience store.

"I don't really know what everybody's upset about," Vicki Miller said. "We have alcohol on every corner. I don't think a convenience store will downgrade the area."

Instead, Miller thinks a new Kum & Go would be an upgrade.

"It would be great for Jonesboro," Miller said. "Obviously, it's going to bring money. It's good for the economy."

Miller said it would also good for people like herself who work downtown.

"If we need anything, we kind of have to leave the downtown area," Miller said. "We work down here so it would be better if we had some place to go to."

Miller and her colleagues occasionally make a trip to the gas station on Huntington, but she said the proposed Kum & Go would be an easy walk down the street.

"The people I've talked to that work down here they don't seem to have a problem with it," Miller said.

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