Family Dollar's plan to open Mancos store meets opposition

Family Dollar's presentation was met with protest signs, and several residents spoke out against a proposed store. Enlargephoto

Mary Shinn/The Mancos Times

Family Dollar's presentation was met with protest signs, and several residents spoke out against a proposed store.

Representatives for Family Dollar on Wednesday announced to a full house that the corporation was looking at opening a store in Mancos.

The town's moratorium on big box stores expires in mid-March, and Family Dollar is looking to open a store on Willow Street facing Highway 160.

The town can't accept an application for a new location until the moratorium is lifted.

The presentation was met with cardboard signs protesting against Family Dollar, and several residents spoke against a new location.

"Please do your best to stop this infiltration of junk. We don't need it," said Ginny Moore, a town resident.

Liz Bohm, another resident, spoke about the experience other towns have had with stores like Family Dollar and how they hurt the local economy. For every one job that a corporate store creates, 1.4 local jobs are lost, she said.

"There's a lot of data that shows negative impact," she said.

Family Dollar representatives Greg Wall, a project manager, and Brad Lasater, a corporate real estate broker, spoke to town trustees about making a new building visually appealing.

A new store would be about half the size of a Walgreens, they said, and would be much smaller than a big box store. The company would be willing to decorate the building with faux stone to help it blend into the neighborhood and use muted sign lighting. A store would employ about nine to 11 people. The sites are maintained and stocked well, Lasater said.

"We're good neighbors actually," Lasater said. Alan Rolston said that he was concerned about a store's economic impact on the town.

"Studies show that bigger retail stores, they don't expand the pie; they take the share of other existing businesses," he said.

Chip Tuthill said the business could open just outside of town to avoid town restrictions.

"What are we, a one-mile strip. They can move outside of that," he said.

The trustees said they would work with the Planning and Zoning Committee to revise town codes dealing with businesses like Family Dollar.