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Georgetown Residents Decry Dollar General Store Changing Look Of Gold Rush Town

GEORGETOWN (CBS13) — Business owners and neighbors are giving their two cents, fighting to keep a Dollar General store from coming to their small mountain town.

Dollar General wants to put a store in historic Georgetown, but those who live there fear it could put Mom and Pop shops out of business.

The quaint mountain town was once the bustling hub of the California Gold Rush.

These days, with only two grocery stores, a handful of Mom and Pop shops and an old saloon, Georgetown is far removed from the chaos of city life.

"There's not too many towns where you come and people park in the middle of the street," said Chris Patton, manager at Mar-Val Food Store

Townsfolk don't like the prospect of one big proposed change—a new Dollar General store that could replace the horseshoe puts on Main Street. The discount store submitted plans to El Dorado County for a 9,100-square-foot space.

"We don't want it here," said Randy Carpadus.

Concerned neighbors and business owners gathered on Tuesday outside the Worton's market that's been in town for decades.

"Dropping a little box store in the middle of it that doesn't fit in with the town, have the town values, doesn't work for us," Carpadus said.

Some of the buildings have been around since the Gold Rush era. The American River Inn was built back in the mid-1850s. And if it goes through, their new neighbor across the street would be a brand-new Dollar General store.

But it's not just the potentially awkward mix of old and new.

"They're talking about bringing 6 to 8 jobs, but it could cost 25 or 30," Patton said.

He runs the other grocery store in town and worries small shops could be put out of business.

"I've talked to some businesses in town and they said if it hurts them 5, 10 percent they could close their doors," he said.

The county says it sent Dollar General back to the drawing board to come up with a design that better fits the historic town. But it appears, with neighbors at least, it will take a lot of convincing.

"We like the way our town looks, we like the way our town feels," Carpadus said.

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