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2006-09-09
Spooner, WI. Wal-Mart Land Option Set To Expire

Residents in Spooner, Wisconsin refuse to let up on their efforts to stop Wal-Mart from locating in their small town -- despite the fact that local officials are spoon-feeding the retailer. Last February, residents in Spooner, Wisconsin reported to Sprawl-Busters that Wal-Mart was proposing to build a 150,000 sq ft store in their community. "We are a small tourist town," they wrote, "with very seasonal business. The owner of a local grocery store has concerns, and has set the stage for layoffs. Spooner is a town with 2,600 people. We have supercenters 20 miles north and south, we have two grocery stores , two hardware stores, Dollar Store, Pamida discount store, many downtown stores. The County has agreed to sale of land for $901,000 in secret deal." Seven months later, the citizens have this update for our readers: "It has been a while since I have updated you. Washburn County First continues to battle Wal-Mart and Polacheck, the developer. The 35 acre site has yet to be closed on and the 1 year option on the land will expire on Nov.12th. We have filed two lawsuits. One against the county for open meeting violations, which they admit in part. The other against the City of Spooner for improper board of appeals procedure, where the variances for the Wal-Mart development were passed without discussion or debate. Both cases have been moved to a neighboring county and are yet to be heard. This coming Monday Sept. 11, the county executive board will meet to discuss the Wal-Mart request for an extension on the land sale agreement. WCF will be at that meeting in large numbers to suggest, encourage and support no further extension. We hope to influence them and to attend the full county board meeting the following week to hopefully put this issue to bed. Wal-Mart has not closed on the land because of several issues, mostly Department of Transportation related. The DOT has recommended closure of the median at the site location that would
restrict access. We remain optimistic in this effort and will have slowed the whole process down with our law suits and our campaign."

What you can do: To learn more about local efforts to take away Wal-Mart's silver spoon in Spooner, go to http://www.washburncountyfirst.org. For earlier stories, search Newsflash by "Spooner."










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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