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Op-Ed: Patchogue Chamber Pres. on Walmart

Have an opinion on a local issue? Email it to michael@patch.com or apply to be a blogger.

For those who are unaware, Wal-Mart is in negotiations  a new 98,000 sq ft Store on Hospital Road in East Patchogue. Most local business owners are against this "Box Store" joining our Community for a myriad of reasons. 

This shifting of consumer shopping patterns to a single Superstore will ultimately be destructive to our small Businesses and local Chain Stores because we will no longer be able to compete in a monopolized market. 

What will happen if Wal-Mart comes to town? As our sales decline, Businesses will close or have to lay off employees. These individuals will then be forced to take part time positions at Wal-Mart for lower pay with reduced or no benefits or will be forced to join the already staggering percentage of  unemployed in our country. For every two jobs Wal-Mart creates, three good paying jobs are lost in that Community. According to a study in Social Science Quarterly, U. S. counties that had more Wal-Mart stores in 1987, had a higher poverty rate in 1999 than did counties that started the period with fewer or no Wal-Mart stores. 

WalMart entering our community will also mean a decrease in money being spent around the Greater Patchogue area- at our Businesses. We will be faced with declining property values from closed stores, lessening our tax base, resulting in increased infrastructure and police costs, and a greater strain on emergency services for the rest of us. Public health care expenditures rise as the County must make up for Wal-Mart's lack of an affordable health plan for it's employees. Traffic and pollution will increase, and the essential character of OUR Community, which was built over decades, may be lost. 

It has also been shown, that 72 to 84 percent of Sales Tax generated by a Wal-Mart is merely shifted from the cash registers of downsized or closed competitors in the area. Additionally, Wal-mart is the largest importer of Chinese goods, forcing the closing of US Manufacturers and making us even more dependent on China. 

The proposal has been pending since 2008 because they have chosen a location that is primarily residential, and the Hospital Road Bridge is too small to accommodate the increased traffic. Walmart has stated that it was working with the Town on widening the bridge and that the property owner had contributed $357,730 toward that effort  The proposed cost to replace the Bridge is $20 million dollars. Does that mean we, the Taxpayer, will be responsible for the $19 million dollar shortfall?  

On January 9th at 5 p.m., there will be a Town of Brookhaven Planning meeting at Brookhaven Town Hall. PLEASE JOIN YOUR FELLOW CHAMBER MEMBERS AS A UNIFIED FORCE. Written comments will also be accepted until Jan. 19.
CHAMBER MEMBERS- PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO: 

Commissioner Tullio Bertoli
Brookhaven Town Planning Board
Brookhaven Town
1 Independence Drive
Farmingville, NY 11738
or e-mail: tbertoli@brookhaven.org

OR JUST FORWARD THIS ONE WITH YOUR SIGNATURE INSTEAD OF MINE!!   

Mindy Skura, President of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce

eileen maclean January 06, 2012 at 09:36 PM
We here in Patchogue/Medford need Walmart,that being said the location picked for it could be better used, in the Belport Oulet area where the new Home Depot is, or the vacant movie theater,now demolished on the service road is a better location. The Hospital road location is highly congested. It'll put put lives in danger when emergency vehicles need access to get to the Hospital, this was not a well thought out plan for local residence in the area. There is no good access to the Walmart from Hospital rd.either,...I've lived in the area for almost 20 yrs now and seen that it would hurt Walmart more than it would help, YES we NEED and WANT WALMART, but lets be SMART about it, put it where you'll have better parking ,access, and won't hurt the people you want to serve!
Jenn H. January 07, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Why the hell do we need a walmart!!????? NO to walmart! What we need is more diverse local shops in patchogue!
Jenn H. January 07, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Proud to say I did half my Christmas shopping in the patchogue village this year!! Just need a couple of more different shops
Jo January 07, 2012 at 07:23 PM
When we ( tax payers ) are all complaining about paying higher taxes and delays due to the construction of a bigger bridge (est. 15 - 20 million $) to handle the Wal-Mart traffic it will be to late to speak up!
Phil E. January 07, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Walmart is needed because the crazy school taxes force us all to be price concious.
Jo January 07, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Area residents should be beware a loved one will pay the ultimate price because emergency vehicles could not get through Wal-Mart traffic on Hospital Rd. Not to mention what this Big Box will do to our property values and small businesses - kiss them good bye. All the grant money spent on restoring main street were and are tax payer dollars (federal, state, & county grants) all that goes down the tubes if this project goes through. So how much is that picnic set and t-shirt really costing us? This Walmart location is a land lease so Walmart can pull out and leave the area another fine vacant crack house building like we have Bellport Outlet South service rd. As far as revenue for the community Walmart will enjoy a tax break for years because they are building a "new" building. I question the statement of new jobs! Honestly how many of us can afford to live on a part time or even a full-time Walmart salary when the average 1 bedroom apt in suffolk is $1250. People need to take a hard look at what we really NEED. Business and Industry that create real and stable growth opps for Long Islanders not just another retailer who takes a credit card! Really in this economy take a look at your own personal debt do you really NEED?
Richie January 07, 2012 at 08:15 PM
A major Ballfield is about to open up 1/8 th of a mile away from this location and the only way out of this ballpark Westbound is to use the hospital rd bridge that is already running at full capacity.Any traffic studys done before the ballpark opens for St Joseph's college.When the ball fields are running watch to see this area max out the roads
Jo January 08, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Richie great statement! This is a real problem!!!!!!! Please join us on Monday night at town Hall to let the Planning Board know that this particular project is crazy for this location. There are other fine locations that would not cause congestion and stress on our already BUSY roads!
Jo January 08, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Phil you are right the school taxes are high and the district sadly is not ranked so well. This aside, any school tax revenue from the Hospital Rd Walmart site will go to South Country Schools. So as a concerned Patchogue resident who will be directly effected by this project this store will not help me or my neighbors at all! It will generate traffic, pollution, higher taxes (for road maintenance, police etc...), and lower my property value and simply be unsafe for the aging population in the area.
Patch70 April 14, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Yay walmart! Jobs, benefits, Why should I have to pay moe money for food and milk because your little shop Overprice food! Why should that money come out of my pocket because they can't complete? Nice to be rich and give you money away to the overpriced grocery stores? Just cut them a check every month for the same things you can get a walmart ?

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