This is computer-generated drawing of a Dollar General store proposed for the Village of Waterford. The Village Board narrowly approved the proposal at a recent meeting.

Proposal has received mixed reaction throughout process

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

A discount retail chain that has been aggressively expanding its footprint across the U.S. has officially taken root in Waterford after a pivotal vote from decision-makers.

On a narrow 4-3 vote, the Village Board recently gave its support to the Dollar General that has been proposed for high-profile land on the northeast corner of Highway 36 and Sixth Street. The latter municipal roadway is being extended to intersect with the state thoroughfare.

Dollar General, which has been on the village’s radar for more than a year, is included within a larger swath of land linked to an agreement between the municipality and development company Overland Group.

The prospect of bringing a Dollar General has been met with mixed reaction since the plans were first floated. When the Village Board voted on development plans and an agreement April 13, a similar debate ensued.

Trustee Robert Nash, who voted in favor of Dollar General, pointed out the proposed store has been vetted though several channels — including the village Plan Commission, whose members called for several architectural changes.

“I think what we’ve been left with is the absolute best looking Dollar General store that I’ve seen,” Nash said of the brown-colored brick exterior that was included in approved renderings.

But other board members maintained different perspectives, including Trustee Pat Goldammer, who stated he had, and will continue to, vote against bringing Dollar General into the community.

“Even a good-looking Dollar General is ugly,” Goldammer said.

Another dissenter, Trustee Brent Hess offered similar sentiments. He said, “I think it’s a mistake to put a Dollar General right off of Highway 36.”

Village Administrator Zeke Jackson said he believed Dollar General would be a viable development for the property — particularly in the current COVID-19 climate.

“Given the uncertainty of the economic markets ahead, this is likely the village’s most promising opportunity in the marketplace over the intermediate time horizon,” Jackson wrote in a memo.