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
1 Independence Drive
Farmingville, NY 11738
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
OR JUST FORWARD THIS ONE WITH YOUR SIGNATURE INSTEAD OF MINE!!
Mindy Skura, President of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce