December 27, 2018 6:00 pm

Wolseley, Sask. mayor ‘disappointed’ after Hometown Co-op closes

The Hometown Co-op in Wolseley, Sask. closed its doors on Dec. 21 leaving many in the town upset including their mayor, Gerald Hill.

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Gerald Hill, the mayor of Wolseley, Sask., is expressing his disappointment after its Hometown Co-op shut down late last week.

Customers were notified on Dec. 20 the doors would permanently close at 6 p.m. the following day.

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“Hometown Co-op did not consider its employees who are abruptly out of work mere days before Christmas, nor did it consult with its members about the sudden closure, or communicate with the town about the sudden loss of service,” Hill said.

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“We’re seeing a troubling pattern here where Hometown Co-op is pulling the equity local people have built up, out of small towns like ours, so the Co-op can finance building bigger operations elsewhere.”

Hill, along with town council members, has requested a meeting with Hometown Co-op management from their Broadview headquarters to explain the sudden decision to board up and see if there is any way to reverse the outcome.

Seven jobs were lost, according to Hill.

“In tight-knit communities like Wolseley even a few job losses are tough. There are single parents affected here right before Christmas, it’s heart-breaking”, Hill said.

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“But on top of the job losses, we have farmers who no longer have a local bulk fuel or Ag supplier and will need to spend more to get it from further afield, and members who were left completely out of the loop on this disappointing decision.”

Hometown Co-op served as a gas bar, a convenience store, an Ag centre and also had a key lock that allowed the fire department and the town to access fuel 24-7. It was also the only place in town that offered propane refills.

Hill said the local Co-op lost approximately $100,000 per year, over the past nine years.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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