GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Girard hasn’t had a place to buy fresh groceries for nearly a year, but now a plan is in place to change that.
The city’s last grocery store closed in November, making things hard for Girard residents.
“I think every town — especially small towns — they need grocery stores,” said Sean Clark, owner of Rabbit Hole Consignment.
In December, City Council denied a plan by Dollar General to expand. The company wanted to include fresh groceries in a new store, but Council wasn’t ready to approve the zone change.
“There was concern — and rightfully so — by the local residents about traffic, and drainage, and matters of that such,” Mayor Jim Melfi said.
Dollar General came back with an improved plan. Melfi said they were committed to the city.
“The current Dollar General has a lot of business and that is reflected by the number of cars you see outside all day long.”
Council approved a zone change for the new store, which will be located across the street on Churchill Road.
“Considering the expanse of land that was there, it should not interfere with anyone, any residences,” Melfi said.
The project will cost $1.5 million.
“It is a sizeable project and today’s retail environment is very difficult, as we all know. Those are projects we certainly don’t want to turn away,” Melfi said.
Clark said the new Dollar General store will be good for the town and everyone’s businesses.
“That’s something everybody needs, to buy food. If you want to keep business in your area, you have to have a grocery store.”
Girard has been without a grocery store since Santisis’ Marketplace closed in November of 2016. Melfi said he’s still working to find a new use for that location.
The company expects to make its final decision by fall of 2017.
Editor’s note: The company reached out to WYTV and said the location is being considered for a Dollar General Plus, not a Dollar General Market, as previously reported. The Dollar General Plus has fresh groceries, but not as many as a Market store.