The Farmington City Council directed city staff to review a proposal to install Hy-Vee Aisles Online lockers in downtown Farmington.
The West Des Moines, Iowa, grocery giant Hy-Vee this week offered a potential contract to install 16 refrigerated and freezer lockers somewhere in downtown Farmington.
The kiosks may benefit seniors or residents who live downtown and do not have transportation to shop at a grocery store outside Farmington after the city's only grocery store closed in December. The Hy-Vee Aisles Online delivery service transports groceries and places the bags in lockers for customers to pick them up.
City Council Member Joshua Hoyt shared the information with council members during a work session Monday, Feb. 10, at city hall.
City Administrator David McKnight said he will look at the different options of installing the lockers in the downtown area.
Hy-Vee has contracts across the Midwest with large corporations and medical facilities to install lockers for the convenience of employees.
“We are excited to increase our presence in the Farmington area with our Aisles Online pick-up lockers. This provides the community with yet another option for groceries as we continue to solidify plans for establishing a brick-and-mortar store," said Tina Potthoff, senior vice president of communications with Hy-Vee Corporate in Iowa.
“It is a value-added benefit for the community given our current situation with us losing our local store, and it is a a value that can be used by municipalities and large corporations for people who don’t have the time to shop and basically go to Aisles Online and order and then you can go and pick it up with a little keypad,” said Hoyt.
The potential Farmington Hy-Vee kiosks will offer customers 16 refrigerated and freezer lockers. The lockers stand 11 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep.
Hoyt said he spoke with Scott Peterson who coordinates the Hy-Vee locker contracts. He explained the standard locker contracts usually cost cities or companies about $1,200 a month for about a two years.
“I talked to Scott today and Hy-Vee is willing to put two lockers in our city at no charge for a time to be determined,” Hoyt said.
Mayor Todd Larson said: “Basically, it is a no cost experiment.”
The council briefly discussed this proposal and directed McKnight and city staff to find space for the installation in downtown Farmington.
A few weeks ago Cub Foods offered Farmington seniors and residents free bus rides to shop at the Lakeville grocery store.
Council Member Terry Donnelly asked if there would be any conflict of interest if the city makes this option open to residents.
The council agreed the city will be open to any competing grocery store chain that may offer lockers for Farmington residents.
Hoyt said: “It is an additional service for the time being until the store comes up, and they are willing to give us two of these units at no charge on their end.”
The details of the potential contract will be reviewed by city staff and the city attorney.