Dollar General with fresh produce and frozen meat opens in Winchester

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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WINCHESTER, Ill. (WGEM) - A new Dollar General sprouted up in Winchester last Sunday at 850 Old Route 36. City officials said it’s not an ordinary Dollar General, with its fresh produce and meat section making it one of the largest Dollar Generals, or DG Markets in the nation.

“It’s like a Walmart for a small town,” said Mayor Rex McIntire.

Dean and Kay Sandman from neighboring town Bluffs was shopping there on Wednesday and said its like setting foot in a grocery store.

“We’re glad its bigger and nicer,” Sandman said. “We don’t have to travel clear to Jacksonville to get the things you need.”

The DG market falls within city limits and the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district. It occupies 2 of the 39 acres of available space in that district that city officials want to expand upon. It was originally zoned for conservation, but is now zoned for commercial and residential space.

“So now we stand to gain on sales tax,” McIntire said. “We stand to gain on property taxes and its just a good thing for the city of Winchester. Plus, the convenience of having a new DG Market here.”

McIntire said the city purchased the property in 2018. It’s been four years of planning and getting vendors on board. He said the city sold the land to DG Market for $32,500.

“That’s a little cheaper then we’re probably going to sell in the future,” McIntire said. “But we wanted to break the ice so to speak to get something going there.”

McIntire said he’s been in contact with commercial retailers include Casey’s and Subway as a few possibilities to add to the land. He said they hope to add a truck stop there at some point.

“We have a lot of trucks coming through,” he said.

McIntire said the city has been able to use TIF funds before to assist businesses with Covid relief money, preparing facades, and repairing older buildings.

He said the property will still occupy farmland and that space will be rented out.

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