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:

2001-09-10
Delavan, WI. One Alderman Gets It Right.

At least one Alderman in Delavan, Wisconsin got it right. Alderman Ron Siedelmann has told the Janesville Gazette that on September 11th. he will ask the City Council to conduct an independent economic impact study before it votes on whether to approve a 183,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter, and an 86,000-square-foot Kohl's Department Store plus six smaller businesses. "Personally, I feel we have a fiscal obligation to every citizen in the city of Delavan," he told the paper. "This is something that has been extremely controversial from the beginning." Delavan's Mayor, however, has made us his mind and doesn't want to be confused by the facts. He told the paper that impact studies have never been done in the past, and "No one ever came to me about doing it." The Delavan Plan Commission voted last March to recommend rezoning the 50 acres from rural to business. One month later, the council rezoned the land. Then the plan commission voted 6-1 in August to recommend a preliminary plat, final plat and conditional-use permit for the shopping center. The council will take up the matter this Tuesday. Local residents complain that the whole process has been wired since day one. The Mayor happens to be chairman of the plan commission. He voted in favor of the project from rezoning forward. Alderman Siedelmann is concerned about the impact the shopping center would have on the city's economy, as well as the impact it would have on neighboring Delavan Lake. He wants an economic impact study to be conducted by an independent company and paid for by the developer. "If, in fact, the economic impact study comes back and it shows that the shopping center will be favorable to the city of Delavan, then I will support it," Siedelmann told the Gazette. The developer l has said that the city will receive $225,000 a year in extra tax revenue from the shopping center -- but that's a gross impact figure that does not subtract the cost of city services to the mall, or the lost revenues that will result if other area businesses fold. "I am certain that the cost to the city and to the taxpayers will be greater than the tax revenue that will be generated," Siedelmann explains. The developer has unveiled its own "survey" of 300 Delavan residents showing that more than half of respondents supported the proposed stores and only 25% opposed the project. But the survey questions themselves were not made public. "The majority of people I've talked to -- and they approach me; I don't approach them -- have said they're not in favor of this project and they're very concerned about how it's going to change the quality of life," Siedelmann notes. To the argument that Delavan needs more tax revenue to be able to grow, Siedelmann points out: "If that is true, then maybe someone can explain to me why my taxes have more than doubled since Kmart and rapid growth have occurred in Delavan during the last 12 years," The city has spent money on renovating the downtown while simultaneously pursuing a retail policy that undermines the success of a core business district. As Siedelmann explains: "My vision for the city of Delavan," he said, "is to enhance the business base we already have and to bring in businesses we don't have."

What you can do: When Wal-Mart was required to pay for an independent economic impact report in my home town in Greenfield, MA in 1993, the results were less than complimentary. One high impact scenario showed that Wal-Mart would close more square footage than it would open, and only a few jobs would be "created" once you subtracted all the jobs lost elsewhere in the trade area. I have documented the same results elsewhere across this country and Canada -- studies that indicate big box gains are a form of "fuzzy math". For more details, call 1-877 DUNK WAL to order the book "Slam-Dunking Wal-Mart." The Alderman in Delavan has thrown down a challenge: He's willing to support the project if he is shown conclusive evidence that a Wal-Mart and other stores will have a net positive impact on the town. Instead, all the developer has produced is its own "survey" of residents. This is a tactic that has been repeatedly used by Wal-Mart to suggest that "the people" want new stores, so why bother to look at the impact on public revenues? Retail should not lead growth, it should follow it. All Delavan will get is more prevailing wage jobs that displace current jobs. That's not economic development, its economic displacement. This is how small town America sucuumbs to the lure of cheap underwear.










 
 
"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