Family Dollar to open in Fort Calhoun

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Fort Calhoun is preparing for a new business to be completed next year.
The first phases of construction recently began on a new Family Dollar just north of town.

Dirt was laid and construction on the building will begin soon, City AdministratorDeb Sutherland said.

There is no set opening date, but Sutherland said the project could be finished by mid-2022.

Sutherland, who's part of the Gateway Development board, said she has been working with the business to build upon the city's strategic plan to grow the community.

For a few years, Sutherland said, the city was looking to develop a grocery store or retail market.

"We've checked with smaller grocery store chains to see if somebody was willing to come and they said we didn't have the traffic volume needed for their business plans.

"With (Family Dollar), this should fill the need of having a grocery-type store. It seemed like a good fit that it would fulfill the need we were looking for."

Sutherland said while it is in the early stages of development, she's heard positive feedback from the community.

"They do have the grocery side we've been wanting since our old grocery store closed many, many years ago," she said. "It helps us with our sales tax, which has been a very good thing for us to do these other projects that everybody has seen through town."

The convenience of the store will be beneficial for those in town, Sutherland said, noting many residents shop in Omaha and Blair.

"We haven't had that type of store where you can just grab things," she said. "It's very visible off the highway, you're going to get commuter traffic in there. It will fill a need for if you're in the middle of cooking or doing something else and you need something really quick without having to go to Blair or Omaha."

Sutherland said she hopes this will help Fort Calhoun become a progressive town.

"We want to fill the needs of our residents," she said. "We've got the (Northern Lights Venue) wedding venue coming, Martinez Bakery — a lot of good things happening in town and I think most people support what's going on and trying to fill empty, vacant buildings."

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