According to information from Runge Mayor Homer Lott, the company contacted him to let him know that they have an option to purchase property near the intersection of Frobese Street and State Highway 72 East.
The company is moving forward with plans to bring necessary utilities to the property to meet the needs of the new store, Lott explained.
According to information at the comapny’s website, Family Dollar Stores, Inc., is a Fortune 500 Company with revenues in excess of seven billion dollars a year, and over 40,000 employees. Family Dollar has nine distribution centers in North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Iowa, Texas, Florida, and New York, and 6,600 stores in 44 states.
Although it will not be at the main intersection of the town, Lott said this may actually be a good thing, due to the heavy traffic currently flowing through the intersection of State Highway 72 (Main Street) and Farm-to-Market Road 81 (Helena Street). The proposed site for the store is about a block east of the main intersection.
“It is away from the intersection,” Lott said. “Elderly drivers do not need to be at that intersection in the mornings or afternoons.”
Lott said right now there is a large volume of heavy duty trucks that are passing through Runge, most of which are working for energy companies involved with the production of oil and gas from the Eagle Ford Shale.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is currently studying traffic flow at the intersection, Lott said, although there is currently no traffic signal at the intersection.
TxDOT is currently installing traffic signals in Helena and Gillett, but Lott said he was not aware of any immediate TxDOT plans to install one in Runge.
The Karnes Countywide reached out to TxDOT for information about ongoing and planned traffic signals in Karnes County, but Rickey Dailey, public information officer for the Corpus Christi TxDOT district has not yet been able to share any information about ongoing or planned projects.
In other Runge news, Lott said that the city is continuing to play “catch up” in regard to some administrative issues.
The city recently completed two years of audits of the city’s finances, and some deficiencies were identified. Lott said the city is working to address the issues.
“We passed a resolution to purchase a 200,000-gallon pumper,” Lott said, explaining that it would be used for the Runge Volunteer Fire Department.
“The old fire truck that they had can not meet the needs of today,” Lott said. “We have been looking at this for about six months and just finally made a decision to ‘go.’”
The city continues to look at possible work related to future street improvements. They are working on a feasibility study related to a possible project that may be funded through a bond election, Lott said.
Lott said that Runge hasn’t seen much growth over the past five years, in spite of the rapid Eagle Ford Shale development. He and other city officials are working toward developing growth for the town, but there are challenges to overcome such as property owners who have been unwilling to sell property for use in local retail or commercial developments.
The Family Dollar will be a step in the right direction, Lott said.
“For little things, odds and ends, it will be great to have some place to go right there,” Lott said.