Cottonwood Closing Businesses

By: Erica Kurre
By: Erica Kurre

It’s been one week since the Dollar General Store burned in Cottonwood. Now, the city's Wachovia Bank is closing.

The combined loss of these two businesses is expected to cost the city thousands of dollars in tax revenues.

After 16 years of banking in Cottonwood, Wachovia, which originally opened as Southtrust, is closing its doors at the end of June.

The city's mayor was told by Wachovia’s corporate headquarters that their business numbers were not sufficient.

And, since Wachovia is one of only two banks serving Cottonwood, those who use it are running out of options.

Cottonwood Resident Stephanie Neuciler says, "It's really terrible that Wachovia is closing down because that's the bank that a lot of people use, me, myself and the business I work for."

City Barber Shop Owner Colleen Arnold says, "That means, right now, I'm going to have to drive all the way to Dothan to do my banking and we do our personal and business banking there, so that's gonna’ hurt."

However, residents are not the only ones who will notice a cramp in style.

Cottonwood’s city clerk says Wachovia generates about $20,000 dollars a year in tax revenue. Combine that with nearly $35,000 dollars lost because of the Dollar General Store fire, and the city is looking at about a $55,000 dollar tax revenue decrease this year.

Mayor Lomax Smith of the City of Cottonwood says, "There may be times with the general fund; we may have to cut some corners or cut back some services or whatever's necessary to adjust to the lost revenue."

And, although the city has no immediate plan to make up for the lost revenue, Mayor Smith says increasing taxes will not be an option.

Mayor Smith tells us the Dollar General Store plans to re-open as soon as possible and the city is actively pursuing other banking opportunities.


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