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.
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?
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.