Monday, June 12, 2006

Time is up for Wal-Mart

The Iowa City City Council has had countless opportunities to yield to the wishes of the community and not allow a new Wal-Mart Supercenter to be built south of Highway 1. For one reason or another, the council has chosen to disregard the more vocal portion of Iowa City citizens opposed to the supercenter.

Luckily, the anti-Wal-Mart deities have once again dropped a possible solution in the laps of Iowa City’s leaders. The recent request by Wal-Mart to extend the current July 31 purchase agreement deadline consequently provides the council with the opportunity to deny the request and force Wal-Mart to buy the land from the city by the set date.

Why would denying this request be a plus for Iowa City? Because it would force Wal-Mart to wait until recent appeals sent to the Iowa Supreme Court to stop construction on the site are ruled in its favor before breaking ground. By keeping the July 31 deadline, the legal burden will be placed on Wal-Mart instead of the city.

If the council chooses to grant Wal-Mart the extension, not only will they be going against the wishes of many Iowa Citians but the will also be ignoring the advice of City Manager Steve Atkins. Atkins sent a memo to the council last week, urging the councilors to deny the request because it would keep the property off the market, thus not allowing other potential interests in the site to be examined.

Another Wal-Mart is not needed in Iowa City, and denial of the extension request would help send the message to the retail giant that its presence isn’t wanted in Iowa City.

Laura Michaels
Opinions Editor

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