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Dollar General coming to Marion

Staff writer

Dollar General corporate executives approved a plan to build a new store in Marion that could open by spring, said Economic Development Director Terry Jones.

The Dollar General store will be a slightly smaller version of its typical store, such as the one in Herington, City Administrator Roger Holter told city council Monday.

“It has a little wider aisles and has two less counters in it, so the depth of merchandise is not as great as what’s in Herington,” Holter said. “All of the product lines carried will be represented here, including the seasonal products. We’ve got a great mix coming in. It’ll serve our community well.”

Dollar General is receiving land south of US-56 at Industrial Rd. for $1 as part of the effort to fill the industrial park with commercial tenants. The city plans to create a retention pond with a walking trail southwest of Dollar General, which will allow the developer to use fill from the pond excavation on the site for the store.

Dollar General has more than 11,500 stores in 40 states and has made the deal contingent on the city refusing any of its competitors from entering the industrial park, including other dollar stores and Wal-Mart-type stores.

The Marion store is projected to employ between six and 10 employees and sell about $1.2 million worth of merchandise a year, which would produce $9,000 in sales tax revenue for the city and $9,400 in property tax revenue, city officials said. Dollar General’s decision to open a store in Marion follows Family Dollar’s 2013 decision to back out of a proposal to build a store in the city.

Greg Carlson of Carlsons’ Grocery said Tuesday that he supports the new store because of the regional commerce it could attract.

“I think Marion has got to have something like that,” Carlson said. “It’s going to hurt my business, but hopefully there will be more trade that gets to Marion overall and it all works out.”

City officials also will work with Bernice Beach, owner of HRK Warehouse, a variety store on Roosevelt St., Holter told city council members.

“We’ll be working with her with some re-merchandising efforts and marketing efforts so everybody wins as we move into this,” Holter said. “HRK has been a part of this community for 30-some years. We’re going to help her out so the transition is as solid as possible.”

Dollar General executives made the decision to build in Marino on Jan. 29, following a presentation by the company’s developer, the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Petrous Group, Jones said. Jones told the council that he has been waiting to hear back from the developer since Thursday. A representative of the Petrous Group did not return a phone call seeking comment.

In other business:

  • The council approved $7,000 for a feasibility study to determine whether Marion could support a small hotel in the industrial park. Jones said he has been in discussion with a national hotel chain that wants to build in Marion if the study concludes that Marion can support a lodging facility. The money will come from the economic development fund.
  • The council approved $8,000 for internet hot spot equipment that will provide wireless access downtown, from Walnut St. to the historical museum. Eagle Communications has agreed to maintain the equipment and wireless network, which will feature local advertisements when visitors register for free. The free wireless service could be available within 30 days, Holter said.
  • The council appointed Randy Collett to serve the remaining three years of Vern Bowers’ term on the Marion City Library Board of Trustees.
  • Council members nominated Electricity Superintendent Christian Pedersen to serve on the board of the Kansas Power Pool. A retirement has created a vacancy on the board, and all member cities can nominate a candidate.

Last modified Feb. 5, 2015

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