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2004-11-19
White Settlement, TX. Big Box Stores Abandon Town.

Texas is the all-time leader in emptied Wal-Marts. They have more empty boxes than any other state. So it should come as no surprise to the people of White Settlement, Texas that big stores come, and big stores go. And when they go, they leave a mess behind. Case in point: here's a report of from White Settlement that's a bit unsettling: "White Settlement, Texas is a small town, approximately 5 square miles, completely surrounded by Fort Worth, Texas. The population of this community is 15,000 +/-. Our city has relied greatly on the sales tax revenue from four large retailers: Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and Sams Club. Home Depot has been in our community for 25 years. The sales tax revenue from these stores provide the much needed funds to support the city services our citizens need and expect. Services such as Fire and Police protection, water and sewer service, streets and road maintenance, etc. For a little more than a year Home Depot management assured the mayor of our community that they were not going to move from White Settlement after rumors started circulating to the contrary. Home Depot gave no reason to us for their reason in moving from our community. Their new store is located in the West Point area of Fort Worth. All sales tax revenue will go to Fort Worth. Estimates suggest that the City of White Settlement, Texas, will lose approximately $350,000 + in sales tax revenue next year as a result of the relocation of this store.... Last night I attended a special city council meeting. We were informed that Sams and Wal-Mart will be leaving our community, in the next year or so, in order to build big new super stores in a community adjacent to us. The new building site is part of the military housing area for the former Carswell Air Base which closed some years ago. It certainly does not look good for "Our Town" for the next few years."

What you can do: White Settlement joins the town of Hearne, Texas, as a town that Wal-Mart killed twice -- once on the way in, once on the way out. The irony of this story from Texas is the conundrum: which came first, the big box or the need for more town services? The more chain stores, the more highway workers, the more cops, the more fire fighters you need. When the chain stores pull out, the town is left with the cost of services, but with no revenue to pay for them. When these stores first came in, they did some economic damage by burying the smaller stores. But when they leave, they leave an even larger hole behind. Now White Settlement is facing the Black Hole of life without chains.










 
 
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