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Citizens Weigh in on Wal-Mart

Citizens Weigh in on Wal-Mart

Posted - Apr. 14, 2004 at 9:22 p.m.



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John Daley ReportingSprawl, traffic, the likely loss of 'mom and pop' businesses. It's a familiar list of serious concerns for some residents in Centerville about a proposed huge new Wal-Mart store there. Tonight there was a packed public meeting as citizens on both sides weighed in.

Wal-Mart is the world's largest company. Its stores draw lots of shoppers and it has deep pockets to fight off protests from residents opposed to the store.

The proposed store in Centerville would occupy a 22-acre lot, and it would be a massive building—200,000 square feet, along with 960 parking spaces. There are already a Target store and a Home Depot, but they are only half the size.

Residents are getting organized against Wal-Mart, armed with T-shirts, signs and petitions. Wal-Mart has its supporters who claim it'll bring in jobs and local tax money. But tonight we also heard serious concerns about crime, about Wal-Mart driving out smaller businesses, and also about traffic.

Other proposed new Wal-Mart stores in Utah--in West Valley City and Cedar Hills--have also drawn stiff neighborhood opposition, and you'll recall residents of the city of Inglewood, California recently rejected a jumbo size store there by a 3-2 margin.

There was no vote tonight--that's expected in the coming weeks.

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