POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) – In just over one month, Powhatan County residents will know whether they'll see the county's first Walmart store. The planning board has approved the retail chain's proposal to build in the area.
It was split right down the middle as a number of people showed up Tuesday night to speak about the possibility of a new Walmart being built in Powhatan County. Those who spoke gave good reasons why the planning board should side with them.
"And I think that it would be very desirable to bring jobs, the tax revenue into the county. So I'm requesting that you accept this application," said Powhatan resident Wendy Eiling.
"We have actually 800 signatures on a petition against it. We found 100 more," said Greg Ohme, resident.
Walmart reps were on hand to speak on behalf of the company and answered concerns from the board and other residents. Now they are just one step away from turning their proposal into a reality.
Walmart wants to build a 155,000 square-foot store as well as 15,000 square feet of additional retail space at Route 60, near Page Road. A lot of residents feel that once it opens a lot of other retail chains will soon follow.
"We'll end up with big box stores lining Route 60 and empty small retail spaces along the way," said Mary Brekenson who is against the Walmart development.
The idea of a Walmart in the area has been debated for close to a year now. Whatever the final outcome is, most residents agree that the retail chain will have a big economic impact on Powhatan County. The final decision is left in the hands of the county board of supervisors. They are meeting on July 12 and the public is invited to attend.