Family Dollar Comes to Marianna

Only a select few knew the name of the company. As of Thursday night, the shroud has been lifted and it's official, the Fortune 500 company will build a distribution center in Marianna with nearly one-million square feet, and will create about 500 new jobs.

Now that it's official, what's the name of the company; there's been speculation that it's Wal-Mart.

It's not Wal-Mart, it's Family Dollar.

And there were quite a few places making bids for the distribution center to be built in their communities, in Georgia, Alabama and Florida but Marianna won the fight.

Now that it's been announced to the public, the excitement is tangible.

It's going to be the size of about 16 football fields.

Family Dollar stores will build it, a distribution center in Marianna, right off of I-10.

"It's just astounding. It's going to be the biggest building in the area. And there are going to be 500 jobs created,” says David Melvin.

Engineers for the project have more good news, and say no time will be wasted.

"They are on a definite schedule to be in business by January 2005,” adds Melvin.

But before that, the construction of the center is going to demand workers.

Planners say the distribution center will easily create 500 new jobs for North Florida.

"It's going to make a major impact on Leon and surrounding areas. We are just fortunate to attract a major company into Jackson County,” Al Lawson explains.

The land off of I-10 had a price tag of $700,005.

That was picked up by the Commission Boards of Jackson County and the City of Marianna. The governor also helped by signing off for more than $2 million in grant money.

There's more good news, the distribution center planners say the bar is going to be raised when it comes to salaries in Marianna.

The average pay salary in Marianna is $14,000, the distribution center's average pay will be $21,000.