Residents Fear Store Closing Will Doom Town

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VANDALIA - Residents here are upset but not surprised that the ALCO store will be closing its doors on August 26. Like a number of other stores before it, the business was not making a large enough profit to remain open in this small town.

Resident Mike Potter has lived in Vandalia his entire life and said he has watched the town shut down around him.

"We had several grocery stores. We had two or three automobile dealerships in town and they're all gone. We had a used car salesman. Everything just went away."

Potter said the town has been struggling since the brick plant industry went downhill in the mid-80s. Since then, the town has been failing to provide jobs, which has driven many people from the area in search of employment in bigger cities.

When asked about his employment options after ALCO closes, employee Tim Epperson said, "They aren't great. Mowing grass mostly."

Epperson said he believes the store is forced to close because the town isn't large enough to supply the type of revenue the store was expecting.

After it closes, residents will be forced to drive 18 miles to the nearest discount store.