ELGIN — Elgin has a new shopping option, one that has residents excited.

A Dollar General store opened in Elgin on Monday, Sept. 27, at 450 Baltimore St.

“I think it is a great addition to Elgin. It gives us a new opportunity to shop locally,” Elgin Mayor Risa Hallgarth said.

The store may become a one-stop-shopping destination for some. Dollar General offers a wide variety of items, including food, cleaning supplies, paper products, over-the-counter medicines, hygiene products, DVDs, toys and baby items.

In the future the store also will be carrying a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a press release from Dollar General. The produce section will offer the top-20 items typically sold in traditional grocery stores and cover approximately 80% of produce categories most grocery stores carry.

Laura Parsons was among Dollar General’s opening-day customers and believes the store will be a popular addition.

“I think it is wonderful. All of Elgin is going to appreciate it. It is a mini Walmart,” she said.

Parsons believes that fewer people will be traveling from Elgin to shop at the Walmart in Island City because of the new Dollar General.

David and Teri Fuhrman, owners of Cowboy and Angel’s Place in Elgin, also were impressed with the new store. Teri Fuhrman said they intend to purchase many items, including canned food, for their restaurant from Dollar General because of its low prices.

Phyllis Bechtel also expressed enthusiasm for the new store.

“It looks like it is going to come in handy. It will be a fun place to shop,” she said. “We won’t have to travel to La Grande as much to get things.”

Lisa Arnold also had a positive first take.

“The prices are low and the cashier was over-the-top friendly,” she said of her initial impression of Dollar General.

The store, open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, is on the eastern edge of Elgin adjacent to Highway 82.

Carl Vinson, who was among the first-day customers, believes more tourists will now be stopping in Elgin because the new store is so easy to pull into off the highway.

“It will help our economy,” said Vinson, an Elgin resident.

Dollar General will employ as many as 10 people, according to the press release.

Elgin’s Dollar General is among 65 in Oregon and upward of 17,000 across the United States, according to the chain’s website.

Suzannah Moore-Hemann, director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, hopes that the Dollar General will give the local economy a boost.

“We are hoping it will bring good living-wage jobs to the county,” she said. “It is always exciting when a new business comes to our area.”

Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and store development, said the new store in Elgin will have a positive financial impact on the local economy.

“At Dollar General, we believe the addition of each new store provides positive economic growth for the communities we proudly serve, and the addition of our new Elgin store highlights our commitment to deliver a pleasant shopping experience that includes great prices on quality products in a convenient location,” Nieser said. “We look forward to welcoming customers to our new store and hope they will enjoy shopping at our new location.”

To commemorate the opening of the new Elgin store, Dollar General plans to donate 100 new books to a nearby elementary school to benefit students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Through a partnership with the Kellogg Co., the contribution will be part of a planned donation of more than 100,000 books across the country to celebrate new Dollar General store openings.

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