Monday, February 27, 2006

ADE Letters to the Editor - Feb27

Some excerpts:

1)Behind Wal-Mart 100%. 121,000 square feet is not too big. It includes grocery store. Much smaller than Plattsburgh 203,000 sq ft Wal-Mart. As for health insurance, how many small downtown business owners offer health insurance?

My questions are a) what size population does it take to support a 121,000 sq ft Wal-Mart when there is another store 50 miles away and possibly two additional future stores about 50 miles away? b)how many small businesses make as much as Wal-Mart so that they could afford health insurance for their employees?

2)Village Moving Away From Why We Came Here. We can discuss choices and perhaps make some.

3)Wal-Mart Makes Me Worry About Village's Future. Wal-Mart is not why I moved here. Moved to SL to change life style. The threat of an enormous retailer with questionable ethics makes me very uncertain about my future here. This town has fantastic and unique characteristics that must be cherished, and I think it's a shame that not everyone is able to realize this.

4) How Much Did Randig Really Know? "He said they initially looked at buying a downtown block of property but then found out about the sandpit site." My questions are: how long has Mr. Randig known Wal-Mart was interested in the sandpit site?

5) Wal-Mart Has Proven to be a Bad Company. But when you get their products home, you realize how low the quality of their products are. They violated their 1992 storm water permit so drastically in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas that the EPA fined them $5.6 million.

6) Being Against Wal-Mart Makes No Sense. ...from my experience, a Wal-Mart will be very good for this area. Have they even considered the amount of jobs it will create? I am sure robots will not operate the store.
[see robot post below]

7) Wal-Mart's Jobs Aren't Worth Getting. As Wal-Mart announces its plans to enter SL, I am concerned with it's projection of jobs to be created: 275-300 new positions.

8) Irresponsible for ADE to Allow Poll Comments. I was appalled at how offensive some of the comments were. Some contributors even named members of our community as personal targets.

I agree, but I think the ADE adequately defended themselves in an Editorial last week. Freedom of the press and speech etc.

9) Wal-Mart: Big Shop of Horrors? SL is a very special place and we deserve an affordable place to shop, somewhere that's accessible to our senior citizens, a good tax base and a place where local people can work and thrive in their community! But let's be very sure we can and want to pay the price. Let's be very sure we're not inviting in a Goliath who has no regard for the people who nurture, feed it.

David beat Goliath once, but I've heard that Goliath wins 9 out of 10 times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what size population it takes to support a 121,000 square foot store. But I can tell you something about the one proposed for Lake Placid in 1993.
I went to the public hearings. They started out in the ice arena and ended up in the high school because the arena could no longer be used.
At the meetings Residents For Responsible Growth or RRG was passing out flyers. On one of the flyers was a dollar figure that everyone living in the tri-lakes would have to spend per year to keep the Wal-Mart in Placid. The figure was around $800.00 or so. I felt that was a tremendous figure and asked Peter Roland (head of the RRG) about it after one of the meetings. This is what he told me about how RRG arrived at their figure.
The average Wal-Mart at the time took in $22.275 million in a year. RRG simply divided that figure with the population Wal-Mart claimed they were going to be reaching which was about 25,000 people. The figure was $891.00. That meant a family of 2 had to spend $1,782.00, a family of 4 had to spend $3,564.00. I was shocked because this was REAL momey for many people living here.
Peter then proceeded to explain how that figure now had to be adjusted. The Placid Wal-Mart was only going to be taking in $18.1 million so the figure had to be readjusted. When I did that I came up with a figure of $724.00. This means that a family of 2 had to spend $1,448.00, a family of 4 had to spend $2,896.00. This is still some REAL money for most of us.
A few months later I was talking to someone who questioned those figures. He felt the math couldn't possibly be THAT SIMPLE. I told him it was, and that he needed to go back to 3rd grade where we all learned long division.
I don't know what the figures would be for this Wal-Mart, but you can bet we're talking about some SERIOUS MONEY HERE. This is something many people living here JUST DON'T HAVE. And when you're talking about that much money, can you imagine how much and how often you are going to have to shop there?
I realize those who want Wal-Mart here are going to argue those figures, and I can't blame them. But you must remember that we just don't have a HUGE POPULATION HERE. And with Wal-marts going into Malone, possibly Potsdam, and one in Plattsburgh and Massena, we won't get people from there shopping here. And what happens if the store fails to perform as expected? Wal-mart will leave in a hearbeat. They already have 350 empty stores in the U.S.
By the way the $22.275 figure came from a stockholders report at the time, the $18.1 figure came from the Wal-Mart representative at the meeting, as did the population figures. They called the population figure their Primary Trade Area, or PTA.
I don't know if having a grocery store will make any difference, but I suspect it will. But we are still going to have to spend some real money there.