Texas Neighborhood Petitioning for Grocery Store

BAYTOWN, Texas - Residents in a neighborhood near Houston, Texas are circulating a petition to get a supermarket built in their area, The Baytown Sun reports. Only three small convenience stores with a limited number of groceries currently serve the West Baytown area.

The campaign is being led by West Baytown Civic Association president Fred Aguilar. "If three little stores can survive here, why not a big store?" he said. Aguilar hopes a door-to-door campaign will bring in 1,000 signatures in the next three months.

A city councilman said an appeal will be made to Houston-based Fiesta Mart to open a store in the neighborhood.

A quick trip to the grocery store has been a luxury withheld from West Baytown's residents since the neighborhood's last store closed down about seven years ago, Aguilar said. The stores closest to West Baytown are Food Town at Garth Road and Decker Drive and the HEB on Main Street, he said.

Because Baytown has no public transportation, many West Baytown residents, such as elderly people who no longer drive, must rely on getting rides to the store to do their shopping, Aguilar said. The neighborhood also has a significant number of residents who cannot afford transportation.

Aguilar said when he first approached city officials with the idea a few years ago, he was told demographics showed the neighborhood would not be able to support a store.

Aguilar pointed out that 30 years ago, West Baytown supported several stores at one time.

"Now we have three times as many people," he said. "Surely we could support a store."

Aguilar and his supporters are seeking other means of development as well, including an auto parts store and a bank.
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