Another day another Dollar

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A public hearing was held at the Phenix Town Municipal Hall recently to discuss a proposal from Par 5 Development Company, a development and management firm for commercial real estate, to construct a Dollar General store in the Town of Phenix.

A public hearing notice from the town said the hearing pertained to the disposition and sale of property less than one acre.

“The Town of Phenix proposes to sell this to Par 5 Development Company to place a retail store in the Town of Phenix on this property,” read the notice. “An offer for the purchase of the land has been received that is at, or above the appraised value. The property is a vacant lot with a helipad on it.”

According to Phenix Vice Mayor Dean Evans, hopefully the addition of the store would be a positive draw for the town and the community.

“I really don’t see how it could be a negative,” Evans said.

Evans said part of the agreement with Par 5 Development Company includes the company absorbing the expenses related to replacing the current helipad in the area located on the prospective building site.

“They’ll be talking to the fire department about where they’re going (to) put it and work out the technicalities for that …” said Evans.

Phenix Volunteer Fire Department Chief Walt Bailey said the fire department is kind of at a standstill because before a decision can be made, a site plan is needed, indicating where the building will specifically be located, as well as the use of any antennas on the building and power pole changes.

Referring to the location change of the helipad, Bailey said, “We are working on that. We’ve reached out to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), to Centra One, which is our primary helicopter coming in here, and State Police as well.”

Bailey said once a site plan is set, he will be able to move forward. However, he said currently there are two possibilities, but either one is dependent on the plan.

The first possibility would include moving the helipad uphill across the line from its current location, and the other possibility would involve it being located to the left of the Phenix firehouse. However, the latter possibility would require moving the power line.

During the hearing, Phenix/Aspen Supervisor Donna Fore asked what the total cost to the town would be for the project based on infrastructure changes.

“We’re not going to be out of anything as far as money out of our pockets …” said Evans. However, he said some legal costs would be incurred.

Phenix Town Clerk Barbara Copal said the Town of Phenix itself contacted Dollar General to express interest in having a store in the town.

Evans said the town first started getting serious about the process somewhere between late August and September.

“Timing is everything. We were interested, they were interested, (and) it worked out,” said Evans.

He said the effort from everyone in the community played a role in making it happen.

Phenix Town Council Member Rachel Hamlett Canada said, “Once the contract is signed … they’re supposed to start within six months and complete it in a year.”

“It’s still an ongoing project as far as I’m concerned and an ongoing project for the community,” said Evans.

Council said the contract could not be signed until after the public hearing was held. However, Evans said, “We’ll be getting on with the program. “

He said the town already has the contract, it just needs signatures so the project can move forward.

According to information provided by Dollar General, the corporation has about 14,321 stores located in 44 states.

“Dollar General saves you time by focusing on life’s simple necessities: laundry detergent, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, socks and underwear … maybe a gadget or two that you just can’t live without,” the information reads.

Typically, Dollar General stores have a standard 9,100-square foot size, and each store employs between six to 10 employees based on the needs of the location, according to the corporation.

Evans said the new store will draw traffic and business to the area.

“Who knows, it may draw something else to the Town of Phenix,” he said.