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Grocery store asks Valley Grande council for tax aid

By Adam Dodson
The Selma Times-Journal

The Valley Grande City Council is faced with a decision Monday night as Dave’s Market, the city’s only grocery store, has proposed a plan which would see the store receive a small portion of the city’s sales tax revenue, wanting to move to a new location on Highway 22.

The move is one that is viewed as economically beneficial for Valley Grande. Under the proposal, the David Oliver Company, which owns Dave’s Market, would receive a one-percent rebate for the city’s preceding monthly taxable sales proceeds for a period of a maximum of ten years. This would help make the project feasible for the company. If the resolution passes in its current form, the rebate would begin when the David Oliver Company purchases the 25-acre property.

According to Valley Grande city councilman and head of community development Jimmy Johnson, this proposal is similar to one used by Dave’s in the past. Previously, the council approved of a five-year rebate plan that saw one percent of monthly taxable proceeds from sales going towards another land deal of the company’s.

However, this proposal would not be to solely benefit Dave’s Market, but to bolster the economy of the area. In addition to being able to expand their store, the company would also look into bringing other business to the property.

Johnson said he sees the economic upside.

“He is the only grocery store in the city and is the largest store in generating revenue for the sales tax,” Johnson said. “If he plans on investing in the (property) like he says, I think it is worth it. This is something that could bring in more revenue to Valley Grande and to Selma.”

In the minds of Johnson and others, the success of Dave’s Market means success for the city. The idea is that assisting an existing business will add to what the city hopes is a friendly business environment, which could lead to more investment down the line. Currently, the company plans on investing around $2,500,000 for development and would hire a full-time staff of around 30 people.

Much like the Selma City Council, the resolution must be approved by a vote. Unlike Selma’s city operations, the mayor of Valley Grande, Matthew Dobbs, gets a vote on the council.

The vote is taking place at 5:30 in a special session taking place before their usual session.

According to Johnson, they could have a decision on the matter as early as the same night. While he may see it as a business opportunity, he says that other members may bring up differing opinions that have yet to be considered.

“We have to decide if this is something beneficial to the city,” he said.

Phone calls made to Dave’s Market were not returned by press time.