Dollar General without heat for weeks keeps closing unexpectedly, leaving Knob Noster residents frustrated

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KNOB NOSTER, Mo. – A Knob Noster business without heat has been so cold that it’s being forced to repeatedly close early, and residents are starting to get frustrated.

The Dollar General, just off of Highway 50 in Knob Noster, is the main store in the town with a population of about 2,700 people. But the store has been without heat since before Christmas, according to several community members.

“They’re losing business, and corporate doesn’t seem to be concerned about the town or their employees,” Alderman John Cohen said.

Cohen said people never know when the store is going to be open or closed.

“From what I understand from employees, if it’s 30-35 degrees and above, they have to keep the store open,” he said.

When the store is open, employees are often bundled up, and although there are temporary heaters in place, the alderman said they're worthless.

“They don’t put out enough heat,” Cohen said of the heaters. “They’re some kind of heaters that go up to ceiling and into the duct, but only one of them works.”

Cohen said he reached out district managers for the store several times but kept getting the runaround.

FOX4 reached out to Dollar General's corporate office to get answers and received the following statement:

“Dollar General is continuing its efforts to address the heating needs at our Knob Noster, Missouri store. We are committed to taking the appropriate steps to ensure a pleasant shopping experience for our customers and work environment for our employees. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to completing the necessary repairs and reopening as quickly as possible.”

When a FOX4 crew arrived at the store, two repairmen from a metro HVAC company also pulled into the store’s parking lot. They would not comment on if they were fixing the store’s heater.

“It’s very much a coincidence that they’re here," Cohen said. “Why did it take getting the media involved to get something done? It should’ve been taken care of long time ago.”

The alderman worried about how the ongoing issue is affecting his community.

“There is no public transportation here,” Cohen said. “There are a lot of poor people who live here, and this is the only place they can get things.”

Ruth Parrott lives in Knob Noster and shared in the alderman’s frustration.

“Knob Noster is a food desert,” she said. “We really don’t have a grocery store.”

People in town said they won’t be satisfied until there is a permanent fix.