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Will stores help or hurt?

Members of the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors had a difficult decision ahead of them as they heard input from members of the public and members of the Cumberland County Planning Commission concerning a proposed Dollar General store in the county.

The store, which was proposed to be located on Route 45, a few parcels south of Holman Mill Road, would sell food, toiletry items, apparel, houseware and other items.

Residents near the proposed property expressed concern about increased traffic and greater potential for vehicle accidents, littering and the store’s close proximity to residential properties and to another Dollar General store by the county courthouse.

Members of the planning commission shared those concerns and added that the location was not in a growth area, according to the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Cumberland County residents who have voiced support of the store on social media said the store could offer growth, both in creating potential jobs and in providing more resources that would save residents from having to make a longer drive to Farmville or Prince Edward County.

Going forward, it may be important in this case for county leaders to practice compromise.

If plans come about for stores in the future in the proposed Dollar General location, it will be necessary to take the steps to make sure the roads around the store are safe — especially because the proposed location is not by an intersection — and that litter or light pollution would not affect nearby neighbors.

If the Dollar General location does not progress, hearing residents’ concern about a lack of a nearby grocery store or other resources and continuing to take concrete steps to address these issues would also be suggested.

For a decision that affects the economic well-being of everyone in Cumberland County, I commend members of the public for speaking out, whether by emailing local government representatives or speaking at county meetings.

I also commend members of the board of supervisors and members of the planning commission for listening to concerns and suggestions of residents and making the decisions they deem best for the county.

EMILY HOLLINGSWORTH is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.Hollingsworth@FarmvilleHerald.com.