Earle wants new supermarket

Closed grocery store leaves city, residents in the lurch

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Earle is exploring options to lure a new supermarket to town. The Mad Butcher closed its doors in August and the property is listed for sale. Former Mayor Sherman Smith told Mayor Carolyn Jones that he would like to see the city put together an organized effort to find a new store for the building. “It would be good if representatives from the Chamber of Commerce could get together and actively try and solicit a tenant for that,” Smith said. Smith said the Mad Butcher was a big source of tax revenue that the city can not afford to lose. “We’re losing so much sales tax,” Smith said. “There may be some things we can do to incentivize somebody to come here.” The Mad Butcher is owned by Food Giant. Jones said there was little the city could do about the chain closing. “It’s not my fault that the Mad Butcher is not here,” Jones said. “That’s a corporation. That’s not the city’s responsibility. I had nothing to do with that. I don’t like having to go to Marion Marketplace any more than you do.” Smith said he wasn’t blaming Jones, but suggested the city form a committee. “I’m not saying anyone is responsible,” Smith said. “We’re all responsible because we didn’t support it well enough. Let’s form a group. We need to pull together and put our heads together and come up with some things.” Councilwoman Sarah Johnson, who heads the Chamber of Commerce, said they have already gotten some calls about the building. “Somebody from Mississippi is coming to look at the building,” Johnson said. Jones thanked Smith for his suggestion and said she supports the idea. “Thank you,” Jones said. “That’s a good idea. Somebody probably should have talked to them before they left.”

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