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Update: Opposition Forming to Proposed Caledonia Walmart

The Village Board is scheduled to hear a presentation about the 115,000 square foot building Tuesday night.

Update: A group from the Conservancy District and the neighboring area plan to attend tonight's 5:30 p.m. meeting. While they won't be able to share their opinions on the project, they plan to wear green t-shirts to show opposition to the project.

Original post: Caledonia may be getting a Wal-Mart. 

The Village Board and the Plan Commission will hear a presentation from officials with Wal-Mart at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday night about their plans to build an 115,000-square-foot store at the northwest corner of Highway 31 and 4 Mile Road.

The presentation will be done in open session, but then after the presentation the Plan Commission and Village board will meet in closed session. The Village Board meeting will be held at 6 p.m., and the Plan Commission and Village Board will discuss the plans, but will not take public comments.

Village President Ron Coutts said he was approached last week about the project.

"This is going to be a smaller-scale store, and will likely be unique -- not only to those in the area, but in the nation as well," Coutts said.

Coutts said he doesn't have a lot of details about the project including how many employees the store would employ or how many acres the project would be built on. The land would require several approvals to move forward.

"Right now this is in the initial stages," Coutts said. "Wal-Mart will also be holding a public meeting to explain the details of the project to citizens."

However, more details on the project are expected to come out at the special Board meeting, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Eastside Community Center. 

The project would not include special financing through a tax incremental finance district, Coutts said.

"They want to pay their fair share," he said.

The project comes at a time when the Village Board has had numerous discussions about how to develop Caledonia and how the Village would be able to attract new businesses. In one meeting, a retail broker Coutts said he understands that many people will likely be opposed to the project, "but what do they want me to do? Raise their taxes?"

The new store would be at least the 17th Walmart in southeastern Wisconsin, including the second in Racine County.

Laurie March 04, 2011 at 04:27 AM
What a nice place to blog about important matters. Very informative and much more civilized than the blogging environment of the Journal Times. It is a relief that many of the concerns of a potentially ill-placed Walmart match my own. I drive down 4 mile all the time and appreciates its rural beauty, rather unhampered by the busy 31. Glad so many want to keep it that way and respect the 'land use' requirements of the village. Any suggestions on what one can do to effectively protest this?
robin bertzyk March 05, 2011 at 03:51 PM
for those who like the idea for a wal-mart, i will be happy to show u my back yard view before a wal-mart.
robin bertzyk March 05, 2011 at 09:12 PM
with the permission from my neighbors i would love to invite the people who agree and disagree to have a cup of coffee to watch the sun rise and set in my back yard before a wal-mart. to see what a sight it is to see and take a walk in the fields of freedom. the last house standing.
Laurie March 07, 2011 at 12:25 AM
Talked to some Caledonians in the last couple of days and what was revealed was: Walmart would be okay, maybe BUT NOT THERE ON 4 Mile and 31! It seems rather ridiculous to put a business there, most would say. Actually, they prefer a Target 'somewhere' in Caledonia, and Sendiks, and a Trader Joes. Only store everyone disliked more than Walmart was the KMART on Douglas. They thought it should be levelled and replaced by the new smaller Walmart. Interesting.
MITCHELL March 07, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Commi-Walmart represents what is bad for AMERICA. They sell goods mostly made in third world countries. The jobs they create are generally of the low pay type. Having a Walmart here will be the start of the end of Caledonia we know and love. Walmart's draw in a lot of low quality urban people that will bring with them traffic, litter, crime. Then after shopping, the ghetto folks will hangout in the park and leave more litter. Then they will drive past your homes to case them out for future "visits" when you are not home. WAKE UP PEOPLE! THIS IS A BAD IDEA! I WOULD RATHER PAY WAY MORE IN TAX THAN SEE GHETTO-MART. IF THIS HAPPENS I WILL BE FORCED TO SELL MY HOME AND MOVE MY BUSINESS THAT PROVIDES REAL LIVING WAGE JOBS TO US CITIZENS!!!
MITCHELL March 07, 2011 at 11:28 PM
RIGHT ON ANDREA!!!
JEFF March 08, 2011 at 11:24 PM
A Wal-Mart this size would be perfect for Caledonia. WE NEED BUSINESS BAD!! For those who live by that intersection ON A 4 LANE HIGHWAY, you should've seen the writing on the wall that, if Caledonia business generates, Hwy 31 would be a target. To those that say, "How'd you like it in your back yard", I say bring it on. WE NEED THE BUSINESS, BAD!! JOBS, TOO.
Sandy March 09, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Jeff you are talking like a tuna! (and that is not a good thing!!) The majority of the people who live by this intersection and around it have been there for years. It was not that long ago that it was just a two lane road and had been that way for a very long time. The residents did NOT have a choice when they widened the road either. How would you like to live somewhere you really love and have things happen around you that you have no control over that turn that area into somewhere you really don't want to be but can't leave? Think before you speak!
Dean March 09, 2011 at 06:57 PM
I support the addition of a Wal Mart to Caledonia and the police would not have to hire more officers to cover the area. They can just tell the one's that are hanging out at the fire station on Hwy 32 to drive over to Wal Mart instead.
Tom Boldus March 09, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Keep in mind that every job created at Walmart will remove 1.5 jobs from your existing community. Go to sprawl-busters.com to see what awaits you. Your quality of life is far more important than your next cheep pair of of underware. You stand a chance to gain very little. Crime exists in the inner city. Why would you want to bring it closer to the place you have all chosen to live, for negative job creation and more money out of your pockets for infrastructure. Remember if it sounds real good, its a bad deal.
robin bertzyk March 10, 2011 at 12:24 AM
like the man said go to sprawl-busters.com and educate yourself.
robin bertzyk March 10, 2011 at 12:25 AM
NO WAL-MART KEEP IT GREEN
Emily Koehler March 11, 2011 at 04:58 PM
NO! Wal-mart is bad business. We dont need a big box store importing hazardous, junk from China! Nor do we need them polluting our beautiful land and surrounding river. NO NO NO!
Rob Fisher March 13, 2011 at 11:11 PM
Hey folks get ready! Once Walmart locks down this corner it's going to expand to gas stations,Taco Bells ,Arbys,Payday loan stores,the list goes on and on. Take a close look in front of the Super Walmart in Sturtevant. Hwy. 31 will become the new Hwy 32 commercial district from 4 Mile road to 5 Mile road. I moved to Caledonia to get away from the commercial lights of the city,noise and traffic. As written previously, there are other locations better suited for this type of business. Leave this area of Caledonia residential.
Jodi Lyon March 14, 2011 at 01:21 AM
I can't believe anyone that has ever been involved in the preservation of Caledonia would believe that Walmart would be a good idea. People that live there... live there for a reason. If you want a Walmart I suggest you move closer to one, Caledonia doesn't need it. sprawl-busters.com
tammy nickl March 16, 2011 at 11:57 AM
really? We have a walmart in Racine and kenosha how many more do we need. Get for real. We love our little country side neighborhoods that is why we all moved to this side of the town. Find some other town or city to tear up leave ours alone.
speaking frankly March 17, 2011 at 01:36 PM
The reason they want to build there is simple - all you people who moved there increased the traffic count on Hwy 31, with all your driving back and forth, so now it is more desirable for the anchor stores to want to build there. I laugh at the comments about how busy that intersection is - NOT! Wouldn't a gas station be nice out that far? How far do some of you drive to get gas now? The closet thing to any type of retail out there is Brossman's on 6 MIle, and the little auto parts store. Don't forget the tax revenue for Caledonia. Are you all saying you would rather pay more for your property taxes?
patchreader 123 March 17, 2011 at 02:05 PM
SF: There is already a gas station at 4 Mile and Douglas (1/2 mile east). Another at 6 Mile and Douglas. Regarding tax revenue, read http://www.ccrep.org. Is a new Walmart really the answer?
David Laures March 19, 2011 at 08:51 PM
There are ways that this plan could work to the benefit of the community. For example a special use permit could be put into effect calling for WalMart to hire local residents at a pre-determined wage (as WalMart is doing in Chicago), agreeing to a security deposit to cover any city costs needed for the conversion of the land back to residential if they pull out, a tax surcharge to cover any additional city resources utilized (ie- police and fire coverage), a preset amount of money poured back into the community on a yearly basis for charitable use, etc. Our taxes are getting out of line and we need to attract businesses to the community that can help lower our tax base. For those residents in the immediate area, WalMart can easily make your situation better financially including relocation assistance. Oh and if Kmart pulls out then we now have our brand spanking new Caledonia High School building!
Dennis W Klemick March 20, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Dennis Klemick I have live in caledonia for 14 years. I moved here from Racine, on a busy street ,with a bus route. I moved here for the beauty ,and the open spaces. I stand to gain ,probably a large sum of money, for my property, cause you see I own 5 acres next to the land walmart has opption to buy. Would I say no to Target Or Macdonals when they approched me with a Large offer to buy me out. Hell no, if there were a Walmart already next to me. If walmart is looking to build a store on the north side of Racine . thats fine. Remember this ,the villiage of Caledonia Starts At Hwy 38 & runs out to I94 on Hwy K And all that land runs North all the way to Miwukee County. Caledonia Is the Largest Village ,Land Wise in the state of Wisconsin. So you see there is Quite a bit of land that they are over looking. I would hate to see Hwy. 31 end up like Hwy 20 or Hwy11. I don"t be grauge my Hwy31 Neibors that gave Walmart, and opption to buy there property. I'm sure they were offered Twice the value. If the trustees of Caledonia Change the zoning. in my neiborhood who is to say they could go into anybodys ,and do the same. We will Have to see in the future, If I become a rich Man . God I Hope Not!
Dennis W Klemick March 20, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Sorry I spelled a few words wrong.
Jay Warner March 23, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Mr. Dey, for once you are right. The sky _is_ falling, on a "lifeless" stretch of Caledonia. Some of the life-full bodies who live in that area, and more who "only" appreciate that area, place a lot more value on it than you apparently do. Now please step aside and let us work out a location that Walmart can work with, and that we can stand. When you value Caledonia's open spaces almost as much as we do, and can work to find a way to keep it _and_ permit the kind of growth you claim to want, then I would very much like to hear your suggestions.
San March 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM
putting a walmart next to a fragile environmental watershed is just asking for disaster. putting a walmart in a residentially zoned area is asking for disaster. putting a walmart in a quiet community seeking quality of life is a disaster. communities that bring in walmar stores generally see their taxes go UP not down, due to the added costs of road maintenance and infrastructure, police support and harm to property values and nearby local businesses. people would be driving to this walmart, and these are the same people who drive to work every day since we are a "bedroom" community (think quiet, slow paced, safe neighborhoods, green space) and thus, who are anyway near the larger walmart stores in just about any direction on a frequent basis. there is no NEED for this store where they want to put it other than the GREED of a major corporation which is not committed to our community and who will abandon this building whenever it suits them regardless of how they have disrupted the community in the interim. you can never go back. it is best to tell them to go elsewhere.
David Wenzel March 30, 2011 at 05:00 PM
I live on 4 mile 2 minutes from the proposed site. I understand the roads will someday be changed regardless of this project. But I suggest anyone who is wondering what it will be like on hwy 32 in 5 years watch "The High Cost of Low Prices" on netflix or rent it. I like my local stores and the services they provide, the services that this walmart would bring seem very redundant at this location. My main concern is the trout ponds and wetlands and trails followed by the light pollution (no stars at night), semi traffic and a reduction in the variety of wildlife including birds we have in Caledonia that I could not have when I lived in the Big City. The only reason I moved here.
JAY NIXON April 06, 2011 at 12:29 AM
Caledonians currently need to drive ten miles to get to the nearest Walmart in Sturtevant and the closest alternative store is in Oak Creek. We have to go even further for a Sam's Club in Kenosha. Another store in the middle (hopefully a Sam's Club) would reduce miles traveled, traffic congestion, and save both energy and the environment, all while helping Caledonia's economy. This section of Highway 31 has a huge potential for commercial development which would increase the tax base and save homeowners money. Any major chain store including a Walmart could begin the process and attract other retailers (although I would rather have a Costco). Caledonia has very little retail currently and only one "big box" store, which, unfortunately, is a K Mart, and that store is sorely in need of some cometition. So, what's not to like about this proposal?
Tom Boldus April 06, 2011 at 12:48 AM
Dave, I could not agree with you more. While protesting last Saturday on 4mile and 31, had a chance to wonder the trails of the mentioned trout ponds. Very neat place to spend some time. I just walked the property that Walmart is proposing. Cattails, wet area, turkeys, serenity. More important to me than my next cheep pair of underware.
Greg_S April 07, 2011 at 06:13 PM
I came to this discussion late, so I apologize if I state things have already been thrashed over. I live in Mt. Pleasant, south of Hwy 38. While we shop at Wal-Mart and the relocated Sam's Club in Kenosha, I'm not in favor of building a big-box store of ANY kind on the corner of 4-Mile and 31. As has been stated in other posts, there are plenty of sites that could be used for that type of retailer on Douglas Ave. / Hwy 32. There is no need to destroy the beauty of the area with an asphalt field and a Wal-Mart. Build the store someplace else!
BK September 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM
There is a reason Caledonia has the highest unemployment in the state. We have no EMPLOYERS people! Do you enjoy driving all the way to Oak Creek or Kenosha? Do you like shopping in the sub-standard K-Mart or Pick & Save that does what it likes because there is no competition other than Piggly Wiggly where you have to go during the day for fear of getting mugged? Don't even go into the argument of Ma & Pa stores being affected because those are all in downtown and are already being hit on their own with out Walmart. Sam Johnson and family tried to resurrect downtown but how can you when the the people are afraid of going there. The argument of goods from China... check your homes folks. Most of it is NOT made in the USA. sorry but it's a fact. And lastly, salaries being less than other stores? For someone who is unemployed, IT IS A SALARY. They have jobs from a cashier to a manager. Think about all of these things. It's progress and you can't put your head in the "green-space"
San October 01, 2012 at 12:00 AM
it seems you are either confused on the unemployment situation. Caledonia consistently has the LOWEST unemployment in the entire state of Wisconsin, and at 3.5% or so, it is far below the level that economists consider to be "full employment" given normal transitions that take place in the job market. Caledonia does not "need" jobs, because this community is a bedroom community. So the argument being made in favor of "jobs" here is simply based on inaccurate and false notions that are not supported by the monthly reports coming out of the State Unemployment numbers. The jobs are needed in RACINE. That is where they should go. The real question is how much HIGHER taxes do you want to have when you invite big box and fast food development heavily into town? The facts based on reviews of towns all over the country who did, shows that these type of developments cost more in services than they provide in tax revenue to communities. So we will ALL have to pay more taxes just to have a walmart. Since most caledonia residents work outside of town, those who want shopping basically pass the stores every day in one direction or another.... Do we want to bring in urban blight, higher taxes, and higher crime, congestion etc.? WHY? Where is the benefit?
MITCHELL October 01, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Commi-Walmart represents what is bad for AMERICA. They sell goods mostly made in third world countries. The jobs they create are generally of the low pay type. Having a Walmart here will be the start of the end of Caledonia we know and love. Walmart's draw in a lot of low quality urban people that will bring with them traffic, litter, crime. Then after shopping, the ghetto folks will hangout in the park and leave more litter. Then they will drive past your homes to case them out for future "visits" when you are not home. WAKE UP PEOPLE! THIS IS A BAD IDEA! I WOULD RATHER PAY WAY MORE IN TAX THAN SEE GHETTO-MART.

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