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Wal Mart Gets Chance to Go to Centerville

Wal Mart Gets Chance to Go to Centerville

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Alex Cabrero ReportingWal-Mart wants to come to Centerville, but plenty of residents there don't want it. The issue was discussed at a city meeting tonight.

There are things in Janet Wenzel's Centerville store you just really can't find anywhere else. Sure you could probably find a nutcracker or something like it elsewhere, but Wenzel is talking about quality.

Janet Wenzel: “These are hand carved. That is taken away when big stores come in and start bringing in cheap merchandise.”

In Centerville, there are several chain stores already in place. But now the big daddy of them all wants to set up shop on a piece of land.

Janet Wenzel: “I don’t want Wal Mart to come in.”

But that decision isn't hers, regardless of quality.

John Erikkson, Board Chairman: “This case is not about board member like or dislike of Wal Mart.”

Wednesday night Centerville’s board of adjustments held a meeting to decide if the city can handle a big box like Wal Mart. The planning commission already said no, but Wal Mart appealed.

John Erikkson: “I move the board reverse the August 11th, 2004 denial by the planning commission.”

Susan Brown, Board Member: “I think we have a responsibility to protect the businesses that are in the city.”

Traffic took up most of the 2 ½ hour meeting, but in the end the board voted 3 to 2 to reverse the planning commissions denial, meaning Wal Mart is one step closer to lowering prices in Centerville.

It wasn’t what Wenzel wanted to hear.

Janet Wenzel: “They siphon out business like us that are trying to survive.”

The case now goes back to the planning commission. They can't deny it again, only set certain conditions to allow Wal-Mart in. It's then up to Wal-Mart if they want to meet those conditions...

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