Public hearing set for proposed Dollar General annexation
The Blooming Prairie City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed annexation of land for a Dollar General store for Monday, Feb. 8.
The proposed annexation has become a hot button issue because not everyone is on board with a national corporation coming to Blooming Prairie.
During last week’s city council meeting, Councilman Greg Johnson said that some community members have misconceptions that the city is bringing Dollar General to town.
“They come into the hardware store and they say, ‘How can you let this Dollar General come into your town.’ Well, we’re not letting them come into our town, they’re coming into the county,” he said.
City Administrator Andrew Langholz also said that he and Mayor Curt Esplan have been criticized.
“We are not pursuing them at all. They could just build right outside the city limits with no benefit to us, but still affect our businesses,” he said.
“At least this way, we’re getting some tax dollars,” said Esplan.
If the annexation is approved, Langholz said the city would purchase the 1.35 acres from Blooming Prairie Township.
“What we’ve done in the past a couple times is pay 6 years’ of taxes to the township for what they were losing out on,” he said. “This is just one acre of agricultural land, so it’s just over $7 for six years’ of taxes.”
He also said the land the city would purchase is north of the city limit, which is just north of Highway 30.
“Typically, you don’t want a business on the outside of your city limits because you’re not getting any benefit from them,” Langholz said. “They requested to be annexed in for police coverage, it’s quicker to respond here than it likely would for the county coming in, so that would be the public safety aspect of it. They will not be getting [the city’s] water or sewer utilities at this time because our services end near where Center Street enters Highway 218, so it’s not adjacent to the property by any means.”
Langholz also said that Dollar General would get electrical and would have their own storm water pond.
If the annexation is approved by the council and a purchase agreement is signed by a judge, he anticipates construction would begin this spring.
“They’re thinking if everything goes smoothly, such as the annexation and the site testing, that they will start the groundwork in May and be done by the end of the summer,” he said.