Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yesterday’s public scoping hearing in regards to the Wal-Mart to be built on Hospital Road drove home the point that this site is wholly inappropriate for a store of this size. The primary concern raised by community members in attendance was the amount of traffic such a large, big-box retailer would bring. As we all know traffic around the proposed sight is already bad enough. With a hospital, fire department, and senior citizen complex in close proximity to the proposed site, coupled with the expected increase in traffic, such a store will be a public hazard. Another point that was raised was that this particular Wal-Mart is going to be open twenty-four hours a day. This was new information to some of the attendees with one man in particular stating, “The more we hear about this Wal-Mart, the worse it gets”. Having a 24 hour Wal-Mart creates a whole new set of problems for the community like the noise pollution it will cause in the middle of the night from loading and unloading large trucks. Freda Eisenberg also pointed out that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) used antiquated data from 1996 in its assessment. Several local business owners added their input stating that if a Wal-Mart were to be built, they would undoubtedly be forced to close their shops. Overall the meeting really highlighted how a Wal-Mart at the proposed location would adversely affect the community. Whether it be the congestion, its impact on local businesses and the environment, as well as noise pollution from trucks loading and unloading in the middle of the night, a Wal-Mart on Hospital Road is flat out wrong. As per Michael Albano, a new DEIS is to be completed, and once approved by the town board, a final vote on the proposal is to take place within 45 days. Public comments can be sent to Michael J. Albano at up until July 5th.