There is a huge debate going on in Mineral over an application from Family Dollar to build a new store on the corner of 5th Street and Mineral Avenue.
The Town of Mineral Council held a public hearing in which residents were soundly objecting to approving the application. In the July 8 council meeting, additional residents crowded in the meeting to also object to the approval.
Many residents were unaware of the public meeting and were upset that the meeting was only advertised once.
But is the council listening to the residents?
Some would say no, as there are now more than 58 residents who have formed a petition to stop Family Dollar. Two residents went as far as to hire an attorney for a professional opinion regarding the legality of Family Dollar being placed in a light commercial district.
During the public hearing, resident Edwin Keller had questioned the council about that specific issue and was told by Town of Mineral Mayor Pam Harlowe that, through advice of the town attorney Jack Maus, there was no limitation to space requirements.
Apparently, there is, according to the attorney, Patrick McSweeney, hired by Mineral residents Dorie Simpson and Edwin Keller. In McSweeney’s legal opinion, the site in question is limited to 4,000 square feet as stated in line G of the town’s zoning ordinance.
But is the council listening, or has the visions of tax revenue dollars clouded their judgement and hearing?
The council’s job is to make decisions to benefit the residents in which they serve. They are there to serve the town and its residents.
But Mineral residents seem to be hitting a brick wall with the council when it comes to stopping Family Dollar from being built in their town and neighborhood.
So again, I ask, is the council listening?
Many residents have questioned why a restaurant or some other retail store cannot be placed on the lot. Some residents even asked that if the council insisted on having Family Dollar to place it somewhere else in town.
Council doesn’t seem to be listening to the people whose interests they are there to serve. They seem to have their own agenda and residents seem to be getting the short end of the stick.
So what is the next step for residents and the council?
There definitely needs to be a meeting of the minds and a little give and take before a whole neighborhood is lost.
Council should ask themselves whether Family Dollar is worth losing the faith and support of the Mineral residents and is the retail store actually worth losing residents from Mineral?
Maybe residents should ask themselves if Family Dollar will really be that big of an issue in its corner location?
Could it actually benefit the town with the eight to 10 jobs and thousands of dollars in tax revenue it would bring to the community? Maybe it would not affect the neighborhood in a negative way and the store could be a good neighbor?
Then again, personally, I would not want that type of store located in my backyard either.
So, is there someway to have a give-and-take in this situation to make everyone happy?
Guess we will have to stay tuned for the next episode of the Family Dollar saga.