Dollar General store may come to Monona

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A Dollar General store may set up shop in Monona. The city council discussed an offer from the company to purchase a city lot along Highway 18 and 52, up the road from Fisk’s Farm and Home and the car wash, at Monday night’s meeting.

The company had considered other locations around the city, finally settling on this site, which the council said will need extensive fill work in order to be habitable.

“It’s going to take a company like this to do anything with that site,” commented councilman Dan Havlicek.

Because of Dollar General’s financial wherewithal, the council agreed it’s not interested in extending incentives, like tax abatement, to the company in order to make a deal. Mayor Barb Collins also questioned how generous the city wants to be to a store that would compete with other existing businesses.

“I love the idea of business coming in, but I don’t love that it could take away from local businesses,” she said, noting that Dollar General has become more of a player in the grocery business. She said local stores in Elkader and Postville “took a hit” when Dollar Generals moved into those communities, and feared Quillin’s in Monona would be adversely affected, as well.

The city has until April 24 to make a counter offer. The council members agreed to think more about the price and boundaries of the site and will bring their suggestions to the April 20 regular council meeting.

Sanitary sewer improvements

Engineer Marc Ruden, with IIW, P.C. of Dubuque, updated the council on phase II of Monona’s sanitary sewer improvement project.

The latest estimated project construction cost for collection system rehabilitation and lift station and waste water treatment facility improvements is $1,882,000, he said. However, the council plans to nitpick at some aspects of the project in hopes of lowering the cost.

“Things are moving along and we’re following consent order dates,” Ruden said.

At this time, he said, residents should be encouraged to complete home inspections, looking at any inflow and infiltration (I&I) issues. Some common problems include sump pumps and eave spouts.

Getting a handle on I&I issues “is extremely important if you want to see a reduction in the amount of wastewater you’re treating,” he said. “I&I can be the larger percent of problems with inflow coming into the system.”

Garbage amnesty days, citywide pickup

The council set Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5 as Monona’s garbage amnesty days. Items that will be collected include furniture; painted or wood treated items; cabinets; carpet and carpet pads; mattresses; box springs; windows; sheet rock, press board and paneling; plywood and blandex board. Items that will not be collected include hazardous materials (paint, varnishes, chemicals, cleaning supplies); tires or batteries; oil and filters and petroleum products. Items must be curb side by 6 a.m. Monday, May 4, and will be collected at no charge. 

The citywide appliance and electronics pickup day will be Wednesday, May 6. Appliances and electronics allowed for pick-up include refrigerators and freezers (doors must be removed), copy machines, microwaves, fireplaces, dehumidifiers, window air conditioning units, stoves and ovens, washers, dryers, dishwashers, water heaters, computers, monitors, televisions and cell phones. These can be either functioning or non-functioning, but must be placed curb side by Tuesday, May 5 to ensure Wednesday pickup.

These services are available for Monona residents only. Contact city hall at (563) 539-2355 with any questions.

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