Dollar General eyes location in Mount Sterling

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(Posted Oct. 18, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Dollar General has expressed interest in building a store near the intersection of U.S. Rte. 62 and Third Street in Mount Sterling.

“They’re wanting to do something really quick,” said Gary Neff, Pleasant Township trustee, at the Madison County commissioners’ meeting on Oct. 16.

The company wants to finalize plans by March of next year, he continued. Once they break ground, the store would be up and running in 120 days.

Neff said there are questions about how the store would fit with the county’s comprehensive zoning plan. Currently, the proposed location is a mix of commercial and residential zoning. A request for commercial rezoning would be necessary.

Commissioner Mark Forrest said such a request should fit with the comprehensive plan because the property up for rezoning abuts property that’s already zoned commercial.

Neff said he wonders if, because the store would be mixed in with residences, residents would have a say about rezoning.

County Engineer Bryan Dhume has worked with Dollar General in other counties and says their buildings are well engineered. He said the company is cooperative when it comes to regulations and community concerns.

“I think it would fit a nice little niche for the area,” Forrest said, noting that grocery items are among the store’s offerings.

Dollar General has not submitted any official paperwork or zoning request as of yet.

In other zoning news, Red Hot Propane plans to install two large propane storage tanks on a five-acre piece of property on State Route 29, about a half-mile west of U.S. Route 42, north of London. The company’s trucks will use the site as a refill station.

The commissioners granted a request from Red Hot Propane and the property owner, Emmett Schrock, to change the property’s zoning from agriculture to general commercial.

This year marks the year the county will review its comprehensive zoning plan. Rob Slane, county administrator, will talk about the process at the Madison County Township Trustees Association meeting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at the county engineer’s office. The goal is to have any proposed changes ready for submission to the county commissioners by March, he said. The county reviews the plan every four years.

Human resources specialist

The county’s new human resources specialist started work on Oct. 15. Sabah Al comes to the position with eight years of experience. She is originally from Washington D.C., where she earned her masters degree in human resources management from Catholic University of America. She has lived in Ohio for the past five years. Her office is at the courthouse.

The human resources specialist is a new position at the county. The commissioners wanted an expert on staff who could coordinate employee benefits, manage hiring practices, and stay abreast of ever changing work laws. Previously, each department head was responsible for those tasks.

Courthouse clock

The county continues to look into costs for repairing and/or replacing the courthouse clock. Slane requested additional quotes from Phil Wright, a tower clock restoration and repair expert from South Charleston.

The quotes range from $120,000 for restoration of the original clock and recreation of the original clock faces to $58,000 to repair the existing clock and replace the clock faces. In between, a $90,000 quote eliminates some parts fabrication work, and a $60,000 quote trades restoration of the original clock for installation of a modern-day clock. All of the quotes include replacing the clock faces to varying degrees of detail.

Forrest opposes spending a lot of money on the clock project, especially if it won’t look noticeably different from the street.

“We need to be looking at the money we are spending. This is getting ridiculous,” he said of the project, noting that the county has other financial priorities.

Commissioner David Hunter, on the other hand, favors restoration and backs the idea of a fundraising effort to help cover costs.

“I’d really like to see the old (clock) back,” he said.

Slane also has asked the Verdin Co. of Cincinnati to take a look at the existing clock and provide quotes for repairs and replacement.

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