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Watauga citizens excited to get Dollar General store

Contributed, Carter County Tomorrow • Dec 5, 2017 at 10:05 PM

WATAUGA – Carter County’s smallest town is excited about the start of construction on the first substantial retail development in over four decades, and the Carter County Tomorrow economic development organization is excited for Watauga.

It was recently announced that Watauga would be getting a new Dollar General Store along East 4th Avenue. In many places, another Dollar General would be nothing to cheer about, but it was big news for the city of 400 people.

Carter County Tomorrow has been working with Watauga and was able to recruit Dollar General to Watauga in October of last year and spent this past year working out the details and getting the plans approved for the new store.

Watauga City Manager Hattie Skeans said she is excited about the new store opening and the opportunities it could provide to the city. Skeens said “the sales tax collected will greatly benefit the city and our citizens by helping to maintain the services the city provides.”

Mayor Delissa Lafleur said the store will be helpful to the city’s citizens and the surrounding population.

“Our citizens of Watauga are very excited for the store to open so they will have somewhere to shop without having to travel all the way to one of the neighboring cities. The senior citizens are especially excited that they will have somewhere to shop on their own.”

Carter County Tomorrow worked with Elizabethton Planning and Economic Development Director Jon Hartman to assist Watauga with the recruitment.

Sam LaPorte, one of CCT’s executive board members, said the recruitment does what economic development groups are supposed to do.

“We exist to provide jobs and increase the tax base of the county and the cities in Carter County and that is exactly what this project is doing,” he said.

Skeans said, “We had tried several times in the past to get Dollar General and similar businesses to locate here, but were unsuccessful. We are certain they would not be here now without Mr. Hartman and Carter County Tomorrow.”

Pending weather delays, the store is scheduled to open in late winter.

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