If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — The Elk Mound Village Board has approved a license for the sale of liquor and beer to be consumed off premises as well as a cigarette license for Synergy Cooperative.
The sale will not close this week, but the goal is to close on the sale by December 7, said Kyle Knutson, general manager of Synergy Cooperative, at the Elk Mound Village Board’s November 20 meeting in reference to the location of the former Elk Mound Travel Stop.
The Elk Mound Travel Stop, located on the east side of Elk Mound on U.S. Highway 12, was one of 13 convenience store locations out of 31 owned and operated by the Mega Consumers Cooperative that were closed as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in September.
In the September 1 announcement, Mega Co-op reportedly did not specify which stores would be closing, but that the cooperative intended to close 13 stores by September 5.
The Elk Mound Travel Stop closed on September 5.
For Synergy Cooperative, the Elk Mound Village Board approved a “Class A” license for the retail sale of liquor and wine for consumption off premises and a Class “A” license for beer to be sold in any quantity in original packages for off-premises consumption.
In addition, the board approved a cigarette and tobacco products retail license application for Synergy.
When the sale has been closed, then Synergy will have the vendors come in and stock the store, so that is why Synergy applied for the licenses now, Knutson said.
“We are looking forward to it,” said Terry Stamm, village president.
“We are excited to be in Elk Mound,” Knutson said.
“I had my eye on Elk Mound years ago, but there was no opportunity (before this),” he said.
The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved the licenses.
Voting in favor of licenses were Stamm and village trustees Cynthia Abraham, Bob Bachman, Tim Benjamin, Pat Hahn, Patrick Lien and Joyce Price.
“We’re hoping to have the lights on soon,” Knutson said, after the board had approved the licenses.
Mega Consumers Cooperative filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on September 1, and the cooperative reportedly filed motions to continue paying employees.
In addition to paying employees, cash collateral also would allow the cooperative to pay vendors, suppliers and other additional stakeholders.
The Village of Elk Mound purchased gasoline and diesel fuel from the Travel Stop for village vehicles and equipment.
The Elk Mound school district also purchased diesel and unleaded fuel from the Elk Mound Travel Stop for the school buses, lawn mowers, mini-vans and other school district vehicles.
The Travel Stop came to the rescue of the school district several times, too, when milk or bread deliveries were delayed for one reason or another, according to Eric Wright, Elk Mound school district administrator.
Elk Mound students would stop at the convenience store as well to get something for lunch to bring to school, he said.
The Consumers Cooperative Association has more than 20,000 members, according to the cooperative’s website.
In addition to Elk Mound, the Mega Co-op website listed Mega! Holiday locations in Eau Claire at North Crossing, Highland Avenue, Craig Road, Highway 93, Jeffers Road, Commercial Boulevard, Golf Road, Birch Street, Clairemont Avenue, and in Chippewa Falls and Arcadia, as well as Travel Stops in New Lisbon and Colby, and the Lake Wissota Travel Stop on county Highway X, Chippewa Falls.
Synergy Cooperative became official October 1, 2017.
The name Synergy comes from the merger of three Northwest Wisconsin cooperatives, Cedar Country Cooperative of Elk Mound, Lakeland Cooperative of Ridgeland and United Ag Cooperative of Almena, according to Synergy Cooperative’s website.
Agronomy, grain, feed, refined fuels, and propane are hallmarks of Synergy Cooperative. Convenience stores, tire and repair shops, hardware stores and farm equipment parts and dealership of LS tractor and Gehl brands are part of the cooperative as are well-known and respected brands such as Cenex, Holiday Station stores, A&W and Subway, the website states.
Synergy has Cenex convenience stores in Almena, Barron, Baronett, Boyceville, Chetek, Colfax, Cumberland, Exit 45 (Menomonie), Menomonie North, Rice Lake North, Rice Lake South, Rice Lake West, Ridgeland, Sand Creek, Shell Lake and Turtle Lake.
Synergy also operates the Pit Stop BBQ Smokehouse in Birchwood and has tire and auto repair shops in Menomonie, Colfax, Ridgeland, Chetek and Rice Lake.