Dollar General opens in Milan; literacy scholarships available from the company

Martha A. Churchill

MILAN – The Dollar General store has opened on Dexter Street in Milan, announced by a large yellow ‘Grand Opening’ sign on the front. The parking lot was packed as shoppers were obviously checking it out.

Lisa Garcia from Milan was one of the first customers to visit the new store, along with her two children.

“I come for convenience,” she said. “For some things it’s cheaper.”

Garcia is not new to Dollar General; she has shopped at other Dollar General stores in the past. Sheila Marks Daniel from Maybee has a Dollar General in her own town, but she enjoys shopping there and also at the Monroe Dollar General. Even so, she was looking around and filling a shopping cart in the newly opened Milan store. She says she checks products and looks for anything that is on sale.

“I like Dollar General for its convenience and it’s cheaper than regular stores,” she said.

Jess Lester from Brighton, district manager for Dollar General, worked at the cash register as a steady stream of shoppers arrived over the weekend.

“Everyone is excited,” Lester said. “It’s super busy here. They are geeks.

It was a steep road for Dollar General, as the city of Milan required the company to spend extra money on construction, using exterior brick for the entire exterior of the building. The developer eventually agreed to the terms and was approved by the Milan Planning Commission to go ahead with their plans.

The project then ran into another problem when city engineers reported that the site had no city water service on the east side of Dexter Street sufficient for a fire hydrant. The developer nearly backed out of the deal.

The town council voted to cover part of the cost of the water service for fire safety on the east side of Dexter, making the development possible and adding to the fire safety of the JR Restaurant and any future development on the east side of Dexter.

The store should employ 6 to 10 people. Dollar General offers household essentials including food, cleaning supplies, paper products, over-the-counter medications, hygiene products, home decor items, party supplies, baby items and more. It sells national and private groups.

As part of the grand opening, Dollar General will donate 100 new books to a nearby elementary school. Through the partnership with the Kellogg Company, the donation will be part of a planned donation of more than 100,000 books across the country to celebrate the opening of new DG stores.

Schools, libraries and other nonprofit organizations within a 15-mile radius of Dollar General stores may also apply for grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $203 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 14.8 million people take their first steps toward literacy or continuing education,” said Dollar General.

For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grantmaking programs, visit

Suzanne Wisler of The Monroe News contributed to this story.

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