Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2018
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

2007-04-28
Spooner, WI. Roadwork & Access Could Stymie Wal-Mart Plans

Is Wal-Mart willing to foot the bill for major roadwork to their front door? On February 28, 2006, Sprawl-Busters reported that residents in the tiny city of Spooner, Wisconsin were organizing to fight a Wal-Mart. "Bad news on the horizon," the residents wrote. "The Mayor admits Wal-Mart has been presented as a concept, but still no final word. We don't know what can be done to stop this 153,000 sq ft store. We are a small tourist town, 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 the sale of land for $901,000 in secret deal." Now, 15 months later, residents in Spooner report that the issue may come down to money and roads. The city, the Wisconsin DOT, and Washburn county officials have sent Wal-Mart a "list of improvements" they want for highways and access to the proposed supercenter. The officials have told Wal-Mart these improvements are "required to be completed at Wal-Mart's expense prior to the opening of the proposed Wal-Mart store." A traffic impact analysis (TIA) completed in February 2007 and submitted by Wal-Mart traffic consultants, prompted the city, county and state officials to respond with their list of improvements. In response, the Chairman of Washburn County First, the citizen's group that is fighting Wal-Mart, sent a letter to the editor to the Spooner Advocate newspaper, saying, "For the first time since the proposed Wal-Mart development was announced, local officials have taken a public stand on who will pay for all necessary road improvements to accommodate the Supercenter... From this point forward it will be important to hold these officials to this position. It seems unlikely Wal-Mart will agree to these terms without a fight, given their penchant for pinching every penny. One of the possibilities mentioned was an overpass... effectively closing access at that intersection. But wait a minute: a spokesperson from Wal-Mart's previous engineering firm is on record stating that Wal-Mart would likely not want a store at that site without access to Hwy. 53... What does this mean? It means that the site is now, and will be in the future, largely unsuitable for large-scale retail development, which is one of the main reasons it was not considered as such prior to a sudden offer from Wal-Mart on the 35-acre parcel. Check the comprehensive land use plans that were in development prior to all this uproar, and you'll see that this is the case. Nowhere in either earlier plan was there mention of big-box development and the kinds of retail businesses that typically follow. If this kind of development had been planned for that site all along, would Washburn County have built its highway shop there? So what's the solution? Washburn County and the city of Spooner should drop this whole Wal-Mart business if they still can. This area needs new jobs with decent wages, not a lateral movement of the workforce from current retailers to Wal-Mart. This area needs local dollars to stay in the local economy instead of sending them down the pipeline to Bentonville, Ark., and economic development should be something carefully planned with broad input from multiple sources rather than the brainchild of an impulsive few."

What you can do: If Wal-Mart can't get easy access to the highway, this project could get scrubbed. That's why you can be sure local and state officials will be working to pave things over with Wal-Mart. But local residents need to keep the pressure on. The need for these major changes in the roadway are only for Wal-Mart's benefit, to make it easier for a large number of cars to reach their store daily. These road improvements should be funded by Wal-Mart, and not one penny from taxpayers. Call the Chairman of the Spooner City Council, Daryl Gabriel, at 715-635-9373, and tell him: "Not one penny of public subsidy for Wal-Mart. Make them pay for all their road work, or find somewhere else to exploit."










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

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289