So says Lisa B. Nelson, Senior Manager of Public Affairs for Wal-Mart, via Randy Hollenbeck’s blog (emphasis mine):
We’d like to set the record straight with regards to claims that Wal-Mart is asking for a taxpayer subsidy to build in Cudahy. Those making this claim are wrong, and are attempting to scare taxpayers and city officials.
Let us be clear: Wal-Mart will not receive, and is not asking for, any financial subsidy for its development.
It’s important to know however, that the City of Cudahy created a tax-increment finance district (TIF) years ago to develop the Iceport site, which failed. The City of Cudahy borrowed over $5 million to invest in this site. The city has spent this money, development has not occurred and because of that, a tax base at the Iceport site does not exist to repay this debt.
We want to be part of the solution. Wal-Mart will indeed pay taxes, and will create the property value necessary in the TIF to generate the revenue needed to finally make the Iceport site a success for Cudahy.
Continental Properties has put together a top-notch development that will create the tax base the city needs to repay its debt. At the same time, this plan brings a national discount retailer to the community and includes a state-of-the-art destination sports facility, retail shops and a hotel. All put together by a local, well-respected developer. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Close to a month ago, the plan for Cudahy Station appeared to be dead. But following some careful, creative planning, and the persistent, positive support of Cudahy residents, the plan for Cudahy Station has been given new life.
On June 10th a new plan will be presented to the Cudahy Plan Commission that addresses the concerns that have been raised. A great deal of time and thought has gone into its development, and we are appreciative for the opportunity to present again and answer questions.
The success we’ve had at Wal-Mart is very real – and it’s not only because we save people money, but because we help them live better. We do this in many ways, through jobs, opportunities, community involvement and of course, low prices that help stretch hard-earned dollars in today’s economy. We want to do that in Cudahy.
Please join us for the meeting on June 10th at 6:50pm at the Cudahy Municipal Building to see the new elements in the plan, and help us bring them to life in Cudahy.
Lisa B. Nelson
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc
Now maybe I’m just nitpicking, but do the phrases “top-notch development” and “national discount retailer” go together? Perhaps the folks in Cudahy will buy into the notion that a discount retailer is “top-notch” development for a site in Cudahy’s downtown area, but to me, the two don’t seem congruent. Now granted, I don’t have a background in urban planning or development, but when I think of “top-notch development,” my first thought isn’t of Wal-Mart.