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1999-12-13
Lower Macungie, PA. Tour the Wal-Mart Site

Got nothing to do this Saturday? Looking for something exciting and educational at the same time? How about taking a guided tour of a Wal-Mart construction site? Local residents can't figure out the allure of such an idea, but the entertainment crowd at Wal-Mart in Lower Macungie, PA have invited residents to tour the worksite where the future Wal-Mart supercenter will be built near the Middle School. The Wal-Mart project manager sent a note to the Township Board of Supervisors offering to take residents on tours of the site at 11 Am on Thursdays, and every other Saturday, through August of 2000 -- weather permitting. According to the East Penn Press newspaper, Wal-Mart will supply the hard hats, but residents must come with their own safety shoes. Imagine, standing in the spot that one day will be a Wal-Mart meat department. Or walking through what will one day be a Wal-Mart produce section. Stand in the cereal isle, or walk over to women's shoes! The possibilities are endless. The Wal-Mart public relations gesture was perhaps prompted by severe criticism from residents in nearby Shepherd Hills, who have been complaining to town officials for months about the early morning construction that sometimes goes on until midnight, and the powerful lights, beeping of vehicles backing-up, and the dumping of gravel. One local columnist in the Morning Call newspaper wrote the following: "I wondered how the folks at Wal-Mart would react if their homes were the ones being assaulted by those noises. But I suppose that's no problem. They're probably well-shielded in their mansions. Wal-Mart likes to project itself as an all-American company, a family-friendly business that helps the community it serves -- the ultimate good neighbor. Maybe it is. But you couldn't tell that by what's taking place in Lower Macungie." The developer, by the way, is JDN of Nashville, TN, a company that has often been embroiled in Wal-Mart controversies in several states. JDN is working its employees on 2 shifts because the project didn't start on time. It didn't start in time because of a long-standing community fight against the store by a resident group called No Mart. So the extra headaches are a form of payback to the citizens for throwing Wal-Mart off schedule. Lower Macungie, by the way, has no noise or nuisance ordinance. The Wal-Mart supercenter is 203,750 s.f.

What you can do: To schedule your own Wal-Mart site tour in Lower Macungie, just call 1-610-515-9000. Tell them your head size, so they can have a hard hat ready for you! In the meantime, as one neighbor said: "There is no peace in the evening." What fun, exciting new activity will Wal-Mart think of next? Sitting in on real estate meetings, learning how Wal-Mart picks its target communities?










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

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