South Vienna residents split over dollar store, location

Some South Vienna residents are protesting the proposed location of a Dollar General store while other residents on are split on the idea of even having a Dollar General store.

The proposed store location is at the intersection of Ohio 54 and Ohio 40.

According to Martha Wren, the head of the Concerned Citizens, a group fighting back against the proposed development, the intersection is very busy with semi trucks, farm traffic, and commuters. She and other residents expect traffic to increase at that intersection when Northeastern Local Schools construct new school buildings in the coming years.

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“I have been a resident of this village since 1977 and I have watched that corner with more traffic — get more dangerous every year,” Wren said.

Several residents shared their opinions on the Springfield News-Sun Facebook page.

Not all residents believe the the proposed location is a bad idea.

"I have lived in this area for 16 years, I think the site they are wanting to build on would be safe," Lori Marshall said. "The people that are against it want them to build down by FuelMart, which is horribly busy with traffic coming off of 70 and there are way more semis down that way. 

Other residents are questioning the idea of having a Dollar General store in South Vienna.

"I think the REAL issue here is that some people think that just because it's supposedly a discount store, it doesn't belong in their neighborhood," Josie Rose said. "Common sense tells me it would sometimes beat driving all the way to Springfield and save on time and gas."

"I would encourage anyone who has the power to prevent one of these stores from being built to visit some of Dollar General's other stores in the area," Kevin Matthies said. "They're a mess. 

"I have to wonder why they would pick a small village if they couldn't sustain a store in London," Ronda Jo said.

READ: Northeastern new school estimates still 20% over budget 

In a matter of two days, Wren gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition in opposition to the store location.

Mayor Toni Keller said she shares in these concerns, and they have been brought to the attention of Dollar General developers.

Keller and the village council are planning to invite Dollar General developers to the next village council meeting, which is at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

She also encourages anyone with questions, comments or concerns to attend as well. The meeting will be held at the South Vienna Municipal Building on Main Street.

Dollar General said in a statement to the News-Sun that the company has not made a final decision on the store.

“We are reviewing the opportunity to add a new store in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet,” the statement says. “Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on this by early winter 2019.”

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