To the editor: Please help preserve Chester

The charming village of Chester, VT,  is fighting an invasive attack from a powerful corporation. A proposed Dollar General store at the gateway to our village historic district will destroy the character of the town.  Please join the fight by making a tax deductible donation earmarked for Chester, to Vermont Preservation Trust at its website: This will go toward paying the  legal costs of  preserving this unique historic New England village for future generations.  Donations received by Tuesday morning March 4th will be matched by a generous Chester resident. Thank you.

Stephanie Whitney-Payne

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  1. sc says:

    Caught in a lie on Alcohol? No Dollar General in Joshua Tree, CA
    Analysis: Growing US Opposition to Dollar Stores Playing Out … Three Generations of Grocers at Risk
    – Dollar General Corp. of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, owns close to 10,500 stores in 40 states, up from 8,000 stores in 35 states in 2009. Annual operating revenues are $16 billion and the company announced in January that it would add 635 stores in 2013
    Vermont Towns Have an Image, and They Say Dollar Stores Aren’t Part of It By ABBY GOODNOUGH
    Published: May 13, 2012
    Two years ago they had raided VT alone w/17:

    Dollar General represents a predatory style of corporate presence, sifting through town plans to find locations that would be difficult and costly to litigate against the corporate raiders they are, as many towns are being caught off guard nationwide. This is not typically the way Vermonters do business.

    Although much of our goods are manufactured in the sweatshops of China and developing economies, these types of stores are predicated upon the boatloads of cheap garbage flooding our ports and ostensibly our nation with mass produced, shoddily manufactured junk that sometimes fails to survive the packaging that is probably more costly than the item itself, turning our country into a giant landfill for the toxic toys and other disposable refuse also bringing poison pet foods and the other scourges this industry has become infamous for.

    We still have the final say if there is no favorable reprieve from the Supreme Court of Vermont. No one is forced to shop there and I will continue to purchase the very few thrift items I do buy at Family Dollar in Springfield – Tracfone cards etc. They also tend to be smaller and less obtrusive. Dollar General eyesores have a large ugly footprint and hideous presence wherever they are located.

    I plan to increase local purchases even if the cost is higher. I know there a many struggling. I and my husband struggle also, so this is not to negate or diminish those who must cut costs. Less is more, having fewer quality durable goods and clothing, locally produced and marketed foods is a more satisfying, sustainable way of life, in my opinion, that supports our friends, neighbors, local businesses and banks keeping our dollars in the local and state economy and improving our way of life. If anything, this sad experience has caused me to be grateful for and cherish the wonderful businesses who employ and support our youth and the local charities. Lisai’s, Chester Hardware — wonderful businesses and people we know and love.

    So, if Dollar General suits you, have at it. Please stop calling those of us who are fighting to preserve our way of life and support others who are doing the same as well as our friends and neighbors “hysterical alarmists” – when we simply disagree. You can be a local without being a yokel. Peace.

  2. Diana Ashworth says:

    Also, all of the profits will go to a corporate entity outside of the state. This business will not donate to town activities like local stores, such as Lisai’s, do on a regular basis.

  3. jungano says:


    I’m surprised a 3rd generation Chester resident is this at ease about the subject. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and with that said I respect yours. However, it is just that, an opinion. There are facts at play here that I think you’re skipping over.
    A: The “much needed tax” revenue would be so minimal that it would literally make almost no difference per year to the average resident. Also that would only affect property owners, of which I assume you are. Which leads to the next fact.

    B: As a property owner, especially if you’re one within village limits like I am, you can bet what WILL BE affected is the value of your property. I recently consulted a real estate professional about the Dollar General issue and she advised that my home on Main Street could be worth as much as 75,000 dollars less in the next 5 years if this actually happens. I don’t know about you, but to me 75k isn’t worth a couple hundred bucks saved in taxes every year.

    C: The people ranting and raving about small business, they are not hysterical folks feeding off alarmists. A chain business like this buys in bulk on a level small independent business’s cannot. Which allows them to sell at bargain basement prices while still turning a profit. They will undercut EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT that is sold by a competing business in this town, and when those business’s cave, which they will sooner or later. Guess who raises their prices. Then there is no doubt that whatever tax break the residents did get will be made up for with being forced to shop at Dollar General, because they’ll be the only option for the only 1700 house holds in Chester.

    D: Job creation. I don’t know where to start here. It will create probably 2 management level jobs, that will most likely be filled internally (a transfer from another store in a neighboring town who already knows the operational practices) and then maybe 3 minimum wage jobs that will most likely go to students looking for part time work. Job creation is great anyway you slice it, but don’t tell me a junior at GMUHS who’s ready and willing to work can’t find a job at one of the 7 ski mountains in the area, or shoveling driveways, or lifeguarding at the town pool, or mowing grass at one of the local golf courses like I did. Also, when it eventually puts the local small business out, where will those workers go?

    You’re right time doesn’t stand still, and Chester isn’t a fairy tale, but if you want the New York Times, and The Boston Globe, and Conde Naste’ Traveler to continue writing articles about some beautiful quiet town they stumbled across while on a ski trip? It’s probably best to hop the train AGAINST this thing, and make sure that even if Dollar General does go in, in five years there won’t be a Denny’s where the country girl used to be and that beautiful inn on the green won’t be a Motel 6.


  4. Rick Bliss says:

    Time doesn’t stand still anywhere in the world–just fantasy land and Chester ain’t it. To all of those that think Dollar General will ruin this town or put anyone one in this town out of business I think you are 100% misguided by a handful of alarmists. I myself do not intend to shop there, I don’t intend to recommend anyone shop there, and still will do all my business with the same people I have and my family has done for three generations. This store will provide local jobs — whether there are two or 20, they are jobs we need! The store will also supply much needed taxes to this town! If all of you people against Dollar General would like to split the total missed tax revenue they would provide and send in a check yearly to the town for it I would gladly jump on board your hysteria train. The state has ruled they can be here–the town has ruled they can be here — it’s about time we all just get on with life and realize in reality things change.

  5. Elizabeth Flanders says:

    I lived in Chester for quite some time. I was back recently and noticed a decline from what I remember. DO NOT LET the quaintness of that little town be ruined. Not good for the type of people you want to attract there!!

  6. Kimberly & Alan Farrar says:

    We grew up in Chester and do not want this type of store in our community. There’s already one in Springfield, which has everything anyone needs! It will be in competition with other stores of this type and ultimately one of them will present us with ANOTHER EMPTY STORE FRONT!