Friday was the grand opening for the Casey’s General Store in Lynnville, which is a bigger deal than you might assume for the small town community.

“The town’s been excited about this for quite a while now,” said Doris Horn, president of Lynnville Town Council.

To some communities, the opening of a gas station means, the opening of a gas station. To Lynnville, a town with a population of a little more than 900, it means a little more.

Until now, the town has had only one gas station.

“So our gas prices might, you know, be able to be a little more competition there,” said Stacy Tevault, also on town council.

“I mean not that we don’t like the guys over there at the marathon or anything, but it’s a different kind of product for some of us,” said Terri Hensley, who lives in Lynnville. “Sometimes you couldn’t get in to get gas. If you’re in a hurry to be somewhere, then you know, you had to wait, and sometimes, you know, I’m not good at waiting.”

Besides another option for gas, Casey’s brings another option for food to a town that only has two other places to eat. It also brings 24 local jobs, and counting (the manager says he’s still hiring).

“And that’s a lot for this little town. Some cities will say, oh no, not another gas station, but we were like, thank god we’re getting another gas station in this town,” Horn said.

“It definitely is going to provide employment opportunities for our high school children,” Tevault said. “People will continue to move here instead of moving out. We need to keep people in our small town.”

Just across the street, a Dollar General is expected go up soon, and locals are optimistic these additions are sign of things to come for the suddenly booming Lynnville.

“I personally don’t want to see it get too out of control, because I like our small town atmosphere, but I do like that now we have some choices,” Tevault said.

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(This story was originally published on April 13, 2018)