BP City Council annexes of land for Dollar General
The Blooming Prairie City Council unanimously approved an annexation agreement with Blooming Prairie Township, bringing 1.35 acres into the city limits. The property will be used as the site of a future Dollar General store.
Before the annexation was discussed by the council, a public hearing was held to give the community a chance to share their thoughts on the possible annexation.
Former Mayor Harold Peterson spoke in opposition to the annexation.
“They aren’t interested in Blooming Prairie. You’re not going to find anybody from there that’s going to belong to the Chamber of Commerce and be active. It isn’t going to happen. Every buck spent out there leaves, it goes to Tennessee [where Dollar General is headquartered],” he said.
Peterson also said that Dollar General coming to town could lead to the closure of Vandal’s Family Market because Dollar General will be able to sell the high-margin products at prices lower than Vandal’s will be able to sell them.
“Slowly but surely, their [Vandal’s] cash flow will diminish to where they can’t re-stock their shelves and they’ll give up and they’ll go away. Then who’s going to deliver groceries in Blooming Prairie? You’re going to have to get in your car to get groceries because Vandal’s is going to be gone. It’ll take four or five years,” he said.
Peterson also said he believes a similar fate could be in line for B to Z Hardware.
“Don’t do anything to encourage these people to come here. It diminishes our town. It makes us like all the other small towns that are dying west of here,” he said. “That’s tricky and I know it’s tricky, but one of the things you can do is not do this [approve the annexation].”
Later, when it was time for the council to discuss the annexation, City Administrator Andrew Langholz said Dollar Tree knows they’re not welcome in a lot of small towns, but Blooming Prairie is limited in what it can do to prevent or discourage Dollar General from coming to town.
“The best thing going for us is that if we do annex them in, at least we can collect taxes from them,” said Mayor Curt Esplan.
Councilman Brad Clark said that if Blooming Prairie decided against annexing the property, Dollar General could still build its store at that site. In that case, Blooming Prairie Township would get Dollar General’s taxes instead of the City of Blooming Prairie.
The Blooming Prairie City Council will next meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 8.