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Council Member Reacts To Proposed Walmarts

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Thursday night, a meeting was held to answer questions and listen to concerns the public has about two proposed Walmart Supercenters coming to Sioux Falls. There seemed to be more concerns than questions.

The plans for two Walmart Supercenters were announced last week. Some simply don't like the idea of having two more Walmart Superstores.

Natasha Gallegos of Sioux Falls says, "If Sioux Falls wants to move in a direction that is in support of small local businesses and really wants our downtown area to grow. This is the wrong decision."

But it seems as if many just have a problem with one of them.

Dana Palmer of Sioux Falls says,"The problem that I have with Walmart at this location at 85th and Minnesota is not the Walmart persay, it's all of the development that's going to come with the Walmart."

Whatever the reason, Walmart is already hearing backlash about the possibility of building again in Sioux Falls, but you won't be hearing it from the Sioux Falls City Council's Chair, Michelle Erpenbach.

Erpenbach says, "For us, it's a matter of is this the right location for it, and I think that it is."

She says she's okay with both locations. She says residents near the Walmart that would be built on the northeast corner of 60th Street North and North Marion Road are begging for one.

Erpenbach says, "The people that live in the Northwest area, the place that doesn't haven't churches and doesn't have grocery stores and doesn't have much of anything but has Marion Road with a connection to I-90 those folks were saying to us at that time, 'we'll take a Walmart', 'Anytime', 'Bring It On'."

As for the one that would be located on the southwest corner of 85th Street and South Minnesota Avenue, she says she understands resident's concerns, but the city council will work hard to work out any issues.

"It's a great location, it's going to be right on Highway 100 which is going to be that next beltway around the city. It's going to be the perfect location," says Erpenbach.

The proposed Walmart on 60th Street North and North Marion Road is already commercially zoned and annexed into the city. However, both of those tasks have to be completed before the Walmart can be built near 85th Street and South Minnesota Avenue. The issue of annexing that location into the city of Sioux Falls is expected to be brought to the city council in April.

There is a petition against the building of both Walmarts. That's on a website called Change.org. So far, it has nearly 700 signatures.
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