GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY — Residents and business owners packed the township hall in Long Lake to voice concerns about a proposed Dollar General coming to the area.
Back in August, township officials approved Dollar General to build a new store on the corner of North and West Long Lake Roads. Since then, residents and business owners have organized against the new store asking officials at Tuesday night’s planning meeting to place the development on hold.
People at the meeting asked the board to put a moratorium on any current or new land division on the proposed site until an environmental review from the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy is completed. One woman who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting said the 80-years of commercial painting and welding at the Wheelock and Sons site down the road may have contaminated the water and soil.
“The change in topography may cause this to be a site of contamination run off.”
Other people at the meeting suggested creating new ordinances that prevent more stores like it from going in. They said the impact a Dollar General store would have on local grocery stores would be detrimental.
“Long Lake Township residents clearly do not want a Dollar General in our community and we’re hopeful as well as everyone else that we can keep them out of our community,” Fresh Coast Market Owner Dave Sears stated.
Someone that has noticed the community’s displeasure is the owner of a new storage facility under construction right next to the proposed Dollar General property. Adam Orth said he along with his workers have been sworn at and had things thrown at them by people mistaking their development for Dollar General’s.
“I’m not for it, I’m not against it. I really have no opinion on it,” Orth admitted. “If the Dollar General locations starts to go in the people doing the construction on it are local families, local guys, they may be your neighbors. Treat them with respect they just got hired for a job.”
With still sometime before construction gets started, residents are just hoping something prevents it from moving forward. Sears explained that the new business wouldn’t just hurt local grocery stores, but local farmers and the local business they support.
“You might save two minutes in a car ride to go down to your local market, but the negative impact on the community far outweighs the convenience,” Sears said.