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Local Business

Pharmacy, hardware store closing up shop

POLO – Charley’s Pharmacy & True Value Hardware, 110 E. Mason St., a decades-old downtown business, is closing Jan. 13.

“If it was making money I wouldn’t be closing it,” said owner Tom Felker, who also owns the Snyder Pharmacy at 301 N. Galena Ave. in Dixon.

“I would love to keep it open, and I would have loved to have kept the Mount Morris store open, too.”

Felker’s Snyder Pharmacy in Mount Morris closed in April 2009.

The main reason for the dilemma, Felker said Tuesday, is the companies that manage prescription drug plans set the amount they will pay pharmacies for the drugs, and generally are unwilling to negotiate.

“That has had a terrible effect on pharmacies,” he said. “You can’t have wages, utilities, and taxes going up and your income going down.”

Felker, a third-generation pharmacist, also owns Snyder Pharmacies in Oregon, Byron, Winnebago and Poplar Grove, as well as the Ace Hardware in Oregon and Felker Foods in Byron.

The pharmacy accounts will be transferred to the Dixon Snyder Pharmacy, and hardware accounts will be handled through his Oregon store, he said.

Despite the closure, “we will continue to deliver to customers free of charge on a daily basis,” Felker said.

Polo Alderman Jim Busser, who once owned the hardware end at Charley’s, said he is saddened to see the store close.

“It’s a big loss to the community,” he said.

Busser bought the hardware business from Charley Haisch, who still owns the building, around 1990 and sold it back to him 4 years later, he said.

Haisch, a pharmacist, opened a pharmacy across the street from the present store in the early 1980s, and as his business grew he moved to 110 E. Mason, which had been a movie theatre for many years before that.

He sold the business to Felker in 1997 shortly before he retired.

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