Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Phil Gingrey, all Republicans, made the announcement on Thursday.
A commissary is a store where current and former members of the military and their immediate families can purchase food and household goods for about 30 percent less than at regular grocery stores.
The three current metro Atlanta commissaries, Atlanta's Fort Gillem and Fort McPherson and the Naval Supply School in Athens, are mostly likely going to shut down when their bases close in 2011. Without the Dobbins commissary, metro Atlanta military personnel and veterans would then have to travel almost two hours to Fort Benning near Columbus to take advantage of a commissary.
Jennifer Wilson, a senior airman in the Air Force's 94th Mission and Support Squadron, said that she hasn't been to a Georgia commissary since leaving Florida's Patrick Air Force Base four years ago.
"I would go about every other week and get a lot of baby items and canned goods when I was in Florida, the basics. But I live in Canton now, so the closest to me is Fort Gillem, and it's just too far away to make the trip. And I definitely wouldn't travel to Columbus, as far as that is," Wilson said. "The commissary is important because it's a place for military members to get special deals. Because it's run by the military, any problems you have are taken care of immediately and there are no excuses."
Gingrey said that the Dobbins commissary, which would serve all of metro Atlanta and north Georgia, would bring almost 100,000 customers a month and create at least 100 jobs.
Although it is too soon to know how much the building would cost or when construction would begin, Gingrey said the best-case scenario is to have construction completed before the other commissaries close in 2011.
"We will be working with the (Defense Commissary Agency) in regards to funding and a timeline for the project, and are hopeful that we can get some funding through in-kind donations from the community," Gingrey said. "We couldn't be more excited, but the work's not over. We have to stay on top of it, and make sure everything comes together in the end."