By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dollar General currently under construction on Sand Mountain is expected to open sometime in late March or early April.
The store, which will be the sixth Dollar General in the county, is located on 301 North, half a mile before the Alabama state line, near Smith Road. It is located out in the Davis community.
“A fellow named Bobby Howard called me in June of 2019 and told me what they wanted to do. Howard is with Hibbymo Properties, based out of Calhoun. Most of the Dollar Generals in this area, especially the newer ones, are owned by Hibbymo,” County Executive Ted Rumley said.
According to Rumley, Hibbymo Properties own the buildings and leases them out to Dollar General.
Two other Dollar Generals were opened in the county last year, including one in Rising Fawn, at 70 Deer Head Cove Road and another in New Salem, at 45 Scenic Highway.
“We had one in Rising Fawn and it lasted for about a year or two. They closed about 150 of them throughout the United States and that happened to be one of them,” Rumley said.
Rumley continued, “We saw the importance of having one in a small community. So we have been trying to get it back over the years.”
The newest one in Rising Fawn now is just off of Interstate 59, which is beneficial for both community members and interstate travelers.
“The one in New Salem, there were some people that didn’t want it. There was some resistance. I think it is accepted now. It is booming,” Rumley said.
After finishing the Dollar Generals in Rising Fawn and New Salem, Rumley noted that he knew one was needed on Sand Mountain. Rumley partnered with Phillip Hartline, who is the District 2 Sand Mountain Commissioner.
“So we got to work, got ahold of Bobby Howard again, and we lobbied for that. We helped him find a property,” Rumley said.
Rumley estimates the store is about “50 or 60 percent done.”
Russell Owen, General Contractor, and a member of Hibbymo Properties, says that construction started in mid-late November.
“I should be done by mid-March. I expect Dollar General to move in late March and open in April. This is assuming the weather holds up,” Owen said.
According to Owen, the building is 9,100 square feet.
“It is one of Dollar General’s standard sized stores,” Owen said.
Rumley noted that, yes the county does have several of the stores, but he said that Dollar Generals are being built everywhere.
“It helps the rural communities. It helps you save a drive 10 miles one way just to pick up something,” Rumley said. “It also helps the tax base. I am looking at our revenue. Our SPLOST dollars depend on retail.”
The new store will create jobs, too. According to Rumley, Dollar General hires an average of eight people for a store.
In the future, Hibbymo Properties hopes to build a Dollar General near Covenant College on Lookout Mountain.