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Richardton ready for a grocery store

A Bank of North Dakota loan program is helping bring a grocery store back to Richardton.

The town of about 529 residents has been without a supermarket since 2005 and is 23 miles east of Dickinson and 15 miles west of Hebron, where the nearest grocer is.

Richardton has had a grocery store off and on throughout the years, resident Clara Hauck said. But nothing has seemed to prosper. The area's demographic is changing, she added.

"There may be people wanting to avoid the traffic in Dickinson," she said.

The 83-year-old wasn't sure if younger residents care much about driving to Dickinson, but the city's older generations will see it as a way to avoid heavy oil field traffic.

The store is coming to the rural community through the Flex PACE program, which allows municipalities and other entities to buy down interest on loans, making them as low as 5 percent. Richardton and Stark County Development Corp. are providing the funds to buy down the interest.

"The community decides where they want to use their dollars and what type of businesses they want to attract," Senior Vice President of Lending Bob Humann said. "So in Richardton's case, they've made the decision that they want to use their community dollars to be able to get a grocery store built in Richardton."

PACE was created to help promote manufacturing jobs in the 1990s, he said. Traditional PACE funds would not be available to someone wanting to open a retail operation, so the Flex PACE program was created.

"It's done a lot for the Class B towns to be able to help their retail people stay alive or to attract those types of businesses to those areas," Humann said.

Richardton Development Co. member Ambrose Hoff is building the store, which has been in the works for more than two years. He would not comment on the project timeline or the size of the store.

There have also been plans to bring a commercial center to the city.

"I think it would be very beneficial," Hoff previously told The Press. "All our small towns in the oil boom are starting to feel a lot of activity and we are just trying to build our town, so you need services to build it."

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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