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2016-05-10
Rock Island, IL. Wal-Mart Taking Its Sweet Time—Even With $15 Million Subsidy

Local officials in Rock Island, Illinois say there really is no problem. Wal-Mart wants them, says Rock Island, they are just doing their “due diligence” before agreeing to build a store in this small community. Located on the Mississippi River, Rock Island is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Moline, East Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf.

According to the Quad City Times, Wal-Mart is dragging its feet while it studies the feasibility of its proposed store. Wal-Mart told the newspaper it has the right to extend its 6 months study period. Wal-Mart signed a purchase agreement with the city last year.

"We need additional time to complete our due diligence," a Wal-Mart spokesperson told the newspaper. The retailer plans to take another three months to consider its options.

The city announced seven months ago that it had signed a deal with Wal-Mart to purchase land for the store for $4.5 million. Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley is trying to be as stable as a rock on the deal, "Everything is on track," he told the media.

But is it?

The Mayor said Wal-Mart is waiting for the appeals period to run out on the zoning variances that were approved last month by a city board. That means Wal-Mart is not sure what’s going to happen legally if an appeal is filed against the project.

This project has been in the pipeline since 2012. It’s taken almost 4 years to get to a purchase agreement, and now Wal-Mart wants more time. As the Quad Times noted, this delay has “prompted some skepticism in the community.”

The city has provided Wal-Mart with $15 million of site improvement work. No wonder the city is nervous. Even this subsidy has not sealed the deal. Wal-Mart, the richest retailer in the world, apparently needed welfare from the taxpayers of Rock Island to make this deal work. Imagine a city giving money to the Walton Billionaires!

Readers are urged to call Mayor Pauley at 309-737-2012 with this message:”Dear Mayor Pauley, Time is running out for you to back out of the Wal-Mart deal! You still have due diligence time to study the real economic impact of Wal-Mart on your city. For example, there are already 4 Wal-Mart stores within 19 miles of Rock Island, including two in Davenport, and one in Moline. There is no market need for another big box store. All you will get from this new store is displaced sales at existing merchants, lost jobs, empty storefronts, and more crime. So Mr. Mayor, do your research, and pull out of the Wal-Mart deal while you can!

What you can do: Readers are urged to call Mayor Pauley at 309-737-2012 with this message:

”Dear Mayor Pauley,

Time is running out for you to back out of the Wal-Mart deal! You still have due diligence time to study the real economic impact of Wal-Mart on your city. For example, there are already 4 Wal-Mart stores within 19 miles of Rock Island, including two in Davenport, and one in Moline.

There is no market need for another big box store. All you will get from this new store is displaced sales at existing merchants, lost jobs, empty storefronts, and more crime.

So Mr. Mayor, do your research, and pull out of the Wal-Mart deal while you can!










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

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