Letters From Readers: Negatives outweigh any positives from a new Walmart; Bad policies beget neighborhood trash; Wal-Mart should be building elsewhere

2013-05-08T23:28:00Z 2013-12-24T13:29:57Z Letters From Readers: Negatives outweigh any positives from a new Walmart; Bad policies beget neighborhood trash; Wal-Mart should be building elsewhere Journal Times
May 08, 2013 11:28 pm

Negatives outweigh any positives from a new Walmart

Who is Wal-Mart kidding? A slick advertising document was received indicating they would create approximately 250-300 new jobs, supposedly full time at $12 or more an hour. Are jobs at the Supercenter in Mount Pleasant full time with great wages?

A tax base swing of $200,000 and what is the possible loss from Pick ’n Save, Kmart, Nelson’s and Walgreens?

Outlots along 4 Mile, but there currently are empty outlots and buildings on Douglas. Is Wal-Mart the magic bullet to fill outlots?

Wal-Mart always wins but damages communities along the way. Citizens happily run there for cheap goods forgetting independent businesses. Unfortunately people do not have a clue or care about what happens to businesses nearby. Empty stores do not bring in taxes. Do we want more? Will the tax revenue from Wal-Mart be greater than from the stores located at 4 Mile and Douglas?

And Task Force Committee: Do you live across from the proposed site? If not, put yourself in the shoes of the residents of this neighborhood. It may not be in your backyard but it will be in theirs.

The best information in the slick to win our hearts is that CalStar will provide “sustainable” bricks and Cree lights. Unless Caledonia writes, signs and has final say on contracts for these items, there is no guarantee.

Get smart, Caledonia. Wal-Mart does not belong less than half a mile from Pick ’n Save, Walgreens and Kmart. A zone plan is for a reason, to control good growth and not damage it.

Joan Petersen

Caledonia

***

Bad policies beget neighborhood trash

This is regarding Cara Spoto’s article May 3, titled “Neighborhood cleanups net tires, loads of trash.”

While I commend the work and effort put forth by all the volunteers who were involved trying to make Racine a better place to live, I have a problem with it, also.

I feel that if the representatives in City Hall (aldermen and mayor) would truly represent their voting public and use some old-fashioned common sense, there would have only been a fraction of the waste to clean up by these fine citizens. Some time ago, in Racine’s history, a Racine property owner could dispose of tires as well as appliances at no additional charge beyond what they paid for property taxes. Of course, there were limits on how much and how often so abuses didn’t occur, but the limits were meant to work for normal households and it worked fine. They even had “satellite” drop-off locations.

Now, since the city has gotten itself in financial dire straits, due to pathetically poor oversight by elected “leaders,” they feel it’s necessary to “stick it to the public” by charging fees for things like these tires (and other things). When they used to be covered by the taxes a property owner already was paying dearly. If these fees were gone, most people would probably not use alleys and backyards as dumps.

At the very least, this is mismanagement at the top, or worse, could it be greed or corruption?

John Longo

Caledonia

***

Wal-Mart should be building elsewhere

On May 6, I received a flier in the mail stating Caledonia is saying “yes” to the new Walmart. It’s obvious certain village leaders are for it but I have not heard one supporter at recent public forums.

The “facts” about the new Walmart as defined by the flier seem to illustrate Wal-Mart neither understands nor values facts.

1. No modifications can buffer a home 50 feet from a supercenter and parking lot and its delivery and customer vehicles.

2. Caledonia has access to tremendous retail to the south and north.

3. Tax revenue. Based on the current mill rate and estimated assessed value of this proposed store, the revenue to the village is about $84,000. Overtime for the village police is already a cost issue. This would cover the cost of about one new officer.

4. Caledonia has the lowest unemployment in the state. The average starting salary for cashiers and associates (bulk of the jobs), is $8.81 an hour. No benefits for part time. Working an average of 34 hours per week, benefit packages can cost 77-104 percent of gross income. No wonder in the Wal-Mart benefits handbook they provide Medicaid information.

The hiring ratio stated for the previous location was 60 percent full time, 40 percent part time. Who in Caledonia needs these jobs?

Truth: Wal-Mart seems to have to do a lot of flashy “convincing” to justify their store. Maybe because it doesn’t belong in that location. I am convinced they should be building somewhere else.

Katie Tiderman

Caledonia

Copyright 2014 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(14) Comments

  1. Joeboy5471
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    Joeboy5471 - May 12, 2013 11:38 pm
    Property values decimated? Don't confuse Walmart with the banks.
  2. Kate Remington
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    Kate Remington - May 10, 2013 6:52 am
    Thank you John Longo of Caledonia. If the City of Racine were serious about clean ups they would make it easy for all of us to get on board by providing free dumping days like we used to have. Instead the City of Racine once again dumps on its residents and takes our junk themselves and sells it for a profit! Why do residents have to continually fight City Hall? Those who own property cannot leave because we cannot sell. Those that don't own property are in a better position to pick up and leave. Bloated with bombast and greed - it is City Hall that needs to be cleaned up.
  3. mt_pleasantly
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    mt_pleasantly - May 10, 2013 6:37 am
    I always question the "new jobs" numbers.
    If rather see a claimed "net jobs" number.
  4. Not in my neighborhood WalMart
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    Not in my neighborhood WalMart - May 10, 2013 6:27 am
    Kevinsmom68, Move closer to one then. There are plenty of them all around us. We don't need destroy our neighborhood for your shopping convenience. We're talking HUNDREDS of people whose property values will be decimated, not to mention our quality of life. If you need your own personal Walmart, MOVE!!!!
  5. kevinsmom68
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    kevinsmom68 - May 09, 2013 9:22 pm
    i want a closer walmart! build it!
  6. Keeping On
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    Keeping On - May 09, 2013 12:24 pm
    Wow...your arguments are so thoughtful and well-supported. I live between Kennedy and Packer and have had no trouble with any of the residents for 11 yrs. You seems to have a big problem with either the housing or the people-you have mentioned them before. This may be all they can afford. Where do you think WM employees live?? In Wind Point homes? Where do you think WM employees will come from?? Caledonia has the lowest unemployment in the state. So if K-Mart's wages are not acceptable, WM's are? Did you move to Caledonia for the vast retail options? Do you think WM will enhance the retail options here or eliminate them? By your logic, we also need a Lowes, Menards, Petco, Home Depot, Kohls etc. so we don't need to drive 10 minutes to Mount Pleasant? S. 27th? Regency Mall? Where is the room in Caledonia to do this? Possibly I-94? The WM in Somers opened in 2009 promising to fill several outlots with supporting business and they sit vacant for 4 yrs. Tax revenue? The costs of infrastructure improvements and police will eat that up very, very quickly. To best serve the needs of this area, they should build in North Racine, where jobs are needed, would be easily accessible near homes and bus routes. Caledonia should not be subsidizing this for Racine. The neighborhood should not be the sacrificial lamb so you can buy your beer for a dollar cheaper. You may think you know the economic status of retail in our area. You may thing Caledonia needs a Walmart Yet every single study and recommendations done by and given to Caledonia in the last 7 yrs dispute your assertions.

    Read the January 27, 2011 CDA Meeting minutes.
    Read the July 2011 Ehlers Study
    Read the 2006 UWM market study
    Read the Hunter College Study, January 2010, Walmart's Economic Footprint

    And please, move into a home across from a K-mart, Wal-Mart. Truth is, you would be hard pressed to find a single family home there. Probably because retail builds in commercial corridors. What you might find is larger apartment complexes. Like those on Kennedy and Packer Drive. What you seem to find as vile and undesirable seems to be the exact type of housing that is found near a large retail store. I imagine if they built the store at the proposed location, you could not shop there anyway. You seem to want to keep your distance from us folks over on NGB, Packer, Kennedy. Gosh, I never imagined our neighborhood was looked upon with such disgust..
  7. cleaner
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    cleaner - May 09, 2013 11:33 am
    Oh God help these people who support walmart see the real picture. I am a Mt Pleasant property tax payer, I really see no help from walmart on my taxes. When walmart came to Mt Pleasant they promised the same things, jobs with good pay (yup people work over there for just over 8. an hr, and there are very, very few full time employees) the store is so ill kept in and OUT! Trash blowing across durand Ave CNH installed a fence to catch it! Take a drive through the parking lot late on a Friday, Sat., or Sunday afternoon. Trash everywhere, walmart has no program to professional clean the lot on a regualr basis. Need a bathroom while you are shopping, hope you don't mind a monkey house bathroom. Once again a filthy mess! Only thing walmart really cares about is the hard earned money people bring in the door for all the junk they sell, and the goverment food share cards.... REALLY come spend a day in the parking lot of Walmart right here in Mt Pleasant, for those of you who think its a great idea I can assure you this will change your mind.
  8. Jeff53404
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    Jeff53404 - May 09, 2013 11:09 am
    Yesterday, I received a flyer in the mail from Walmart. It was entitled “Get the FACTS about the NEW Walmart development in CALEDONIA”. The caps are Walmart’s. It is interesting to note that one side of the flyer begins with the heading: “Why Caledonia is saying “YES” to the new Walmart”. This certainly can be interpreted as either hyperbole or it’s a done deal!

    As I did not agree with Walmarts two response options: “Yes, I support the new Walmart development in Caledonia. Please add me to your list of public supporters”. Or, I can select “I would like more information about the Walmart development in Caledonia”, I created my own response - "I do not support this. It's a residential area". I chose to respond as I did because their decision to allow only two possible responses is presumptuous and insulting.

    If Walmart valued my opinion, if Walmart was committed to a democratic polling of Caledonia residents, they would have provided a third option. That being, “I do not support Walmart’s efforts to build in a residential neighborhood”.

    Whatever construction is being planned, be it a Big Box, MegaStore, or SuperCenter, what standards are being used for the end product? Is it square footage, cubic footage, hours of operation, number of employees, number of anticipated customers, gross revenues, size of parking lot, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, PROXIMITY TO WETLANDS OR CONSERVATION AREA (Root River), WASTE RUNOFF, and potential danger to anyone (especially, children, elderly or infirmed) trying to cross the street?
  9. Not in my neighborhood WalMart
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    Not in my neighborhood WalMart - May 09, 2013 10:03 am
    Look around you. This is not the only place a Walmart could go in Caledonia. Douglas Ave is 1/2 mile east and is already zoned commercial. Put it up in Oak Creek by the power plant. There are a number of options. This field is not the right place.
  10. sharkie
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    sharkie - May 09, 2013 9:50 am
    Layedback said it all!! Im not crazy about it being where they want to put it, but if it happens it happens. Kmart is terrible, Pick n save is outrageous and like layedback said Walgreens isnt going anywhere, we need something better on this side of town. I do feel for the neighbors and the bar though.
  11. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - May 09, 2013 9:44 am
    Kenosha still collects tires for free.

    Racine can't compete.

    http://www.kenosha.org/departments/waste/BulkWaste.pdf

    And Kenosha has 20,000+more people and lower taxes.
  12. Not in my neighborhood WalMart
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    Not in my neighborhood WalMart - May 09, 2013 8:46 am
    Layedback...Let's know where you live in Caledonia. I don't believe you do because you endorse Walmart in a location that is ludicrous for many reasons including environmental (across the street from the river) and logistical (2 lane roads do not support this type of development) and you never even mention that they could be 1/2 Mile away on commercially-zoned Douglas Ave. I believe you ARE Walmart and you are commenting under false pretenses.
  13. granny grits
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    granny grits - May 09, 2013 8:01 am
    Every Walmart built averages nearly $500,000 in tax funds to pay food stamps due to their low wages. If you want a good store that treats employees well build a Costco.
  14. layedback
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    layedback - May 09, 2013 7:48 am
    The negatives do not outweigh the positives. 1. Walmart wages for sure will out weigh those of Kmart (which is going under) and will equal those of Pick N Save, (the only other businesses close). 2. A loss from Pick N Save, Kmart, Nelson and Walgreens? Are you kidding? Pick N Save needs competition severely...Kmart is nearly gone, Nelsons is a specialized variety store and Walgreens is a rock...If that logic were true then we would never see a McDonalds or Burger King or any other related business building close to each other. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true...

    3. I don't know if the tax revenue will be more, but the stores at 3 mile and Douglas are already in trouble. Radio Shack is in trouble nationally...that Kmart store will be one they close soon...just watch, and Pick N Save needs competition severely!!!! 4.I would rather live across from a Kmart than a Kennedy or Packard Drive!

    5.Caledonia extends to the lake and - No, Caledonia does not have close retail shopping for all of Caledonia...Gas is not getting any cheaper. 6.If the tax revenue covers an officer and puts even $1 in the bank then it is profit!!! Furthermore, other businesses in the proposed site will add to this. 7. As far as wages go, go apply at Kmart and inquire about their rock bottom wages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Their are many retired and part-time workers that would embrace their wages...believe me..

    So, bring it on...Walmart...Caledonia needs you.
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