‘Citizens deserve different options’: Dougherty Co. could limit dollar stores

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County may make it tougher for dollar stores to come to town.

A request for a new Dollar General sparked a debate that could result in more zoning regulations.

“I just think there’s one on every corner,” said Commissioner Anthony Jones.

He suggested a moratorium on adding more dollar stores in the county. He said citizens deserve different retail options.

Dougherty County Commissioner Anthony Jones says people deserve more retail options.
Dougherty County Commissioner Anthony Jones says people deserve more retail options.(WALB)

“We can’t control who we let into our community and make sure they are providing the quality of services that our community needs. Our folks need fruits, vegetables, and all these things because the wellness is down,” he said.

Monday, the planning commission presented a zoning request for a Dollar General on the corner of Gillionville Road and Lockett Station.

“I just don’t see the sustainability for two dollar stores at the same intersection,” Commissioner Russell Gray said. He and Jones said dollar stores have a predatory model targeting poor communities.

Dougherty County Chairman Chris Cohilas agreed but presented another issue.

“The other issue is, where are your poor people going to get goods? Because it’s not like there is a Whole Foods Market or a Publix Market that’s moving into those neighborhoods,” Cohilas said.

The commission is now going to look at options to examine the issue.

“We going to look at moratoriums and look at other areas,” said Jones. “I think Texas put a moratorium out there. We’re just going to be looking and exploring. We’re not trying to stop them, but we want to regulate what happens when they come.”

Those in favor of adding more stores cite a positive economic impact for the county.

“We can’t put economic impact before people’s health,” Jones said.

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