Dollar General store hopes to open by mid-summer
Somerset village officials have been working for weeks with DGI-Somerset LLC to bring a Dollar General store to town. At the Dec. 18 Somerset Village Board meeting, a series of steps in that process was approved for the proposed business.
The proposed Dollar General would be located on Highway 35 just west of the St. Croix County Highway shop. According to Cedar Corp engineer Patrick Beilfuss, the site has presented some topographical challenges, and the location of the proposed store was moved east from the original proposed location.
The village board voted unanimously to rezone two parcels along Highway 35 (between Dairy Queen and the county shop) from single family residential to highway commercial; to approve the proposed DGI-Somerset LLC site plan contingent on review by Cedar Corp; and to approve the certified survey map for the site, contingent again on review by Cedar Corp.
“We’re comfortable with what they’re proposing,” Beilfuss told board members of the Dollar General plans. “There are no red flags as far as we’re concerned.”
Items considered in the site plan include grading and erosion control, parking, stormwater runoff, building setbacks from lot lines and the actual look of the building.
Beilfuss also said the business fits in nicely with the village’s comprehensive plan, which had designated that area to be rezoned from residential to commercial in the future. It is consistent with the village’s future land use plans, Beilfuss said.
The certified survey map creates two lots (one for Dollar General, one as a future business site) and an outlot (which will allow access to the business). An easement will allow access to the county land to the east. Beilfuss said they have been working with WisDOT to determine the allowable amount of traffic into and out of the business’ parking lot.
Todd Platt, one of the development partners who has executed a lease with Dollar General, and Jim Lundberg, an engineer with Point of Beginning Inc., a civil engineering company in Stevens Point, were on hand to answer questions.
According to Platt, the store will employ eight to 10 people along with a local manager. A manager from one of the other Dollar General locations in the area will be in charge of hiring and training. He said DGI-Somerset LLC is under contractual obligation to provide Dollar General with a building by July 19. He hopes to break ground in mid-April on the $750,000 project.
“We’re excited to be here,” Platt said. “This has been a very challenging site what with access and proximity to the state highway. We have been working diligently with the state, county and village.”
There are no firm plans for the other lot created in the certified survey map. Platt said a marketing balance analysis of the site for retail and commercial uses has not been completed.
“Often, once a store like this goes in, it stimulates other retail opportunities,” Platt said.
“Welcome to Somerset,” said Trustee Ryan Sicard.
The board voted unanimously to raise the municipal court base rate for bond amounts $10 across the board. According to Sicard, finance and personnel committee chair, it has been years since there was a comprehensive bond base rate adjustment.
Village Trustee Dave Carufel raised the question of investigating the cost effectiveness of the municipal court system vs. sending all citations through the county.
Sicard, as well as Village President Jeff Johnson, spoke in favor of the municipal court system, especially when swiftly and effectively dealing with local issues like school truancy.
“When we cite residents or neighboring residents, they have the ability to come down and add an officer who is always present and the judge who is a lifelong resident,” Johnson said. “We get to hear their side and know what’s going on in our village. It treats residents in a more personal matter. How do you put a dollar value on it?”
Johnson said the municipal court is not meant to create revenue, support itself or maintain the police department. Carufel said he would still like to delve into the matter further in the future, though he agreed with the court’s merits.
- A picnic license was approved for the Dec. 20 Somerset Youth Hockey Association annual alumni event from 12-11 p.m.
- An operator’s license was approved for Jerome F. Goveronski
- The board reported all money has been received from Somerstar Entertainment for village and county services rendered during the Summer Set Music Festival Aug. 15-18.
- The board approved a mutual aid agreement with Washington County upon the recommendation of Police Chief Doug Briggs.
- The board voted to raise the Chief Election Inspectors’ wage from $10 per hour to $12.50 per hour.
- Somerset Fire/Rescue Chief Travis Belisle reported the sale of the old fire engine, which netted $3,550 minus $28 for an unexpected alternator repair. A Lions Club near Spooner bought the engine with plans to send it to Nicaragua or Mexico to be used there.
- Felicia Germain was appointed to a one-year term as Village Clerk; Andrea Otto was appointed to a one-year term as Village Treasurer.
- Election workers Shirley Higgins, Janice Hendrickson, Peggy Koehler and Daryl Koehler were approved.
- The board voted to renew the village’s membership in the St. Croix Bike & Pedestrian Trails Coalition.
- The board convened to closed session to discuss employee performance data and compensation of public employees.
- The board appointed Germain and Sicard to work together to purchase a recording system for the village hall not to exceed $3,000.