MERRIAM, Kan. - The benefits of the IKEA planned in Merriam, Kan., will go far beyond the store.
People from across the Midwest are expected to flock to Merriam for chairs, pillows, decorations and even food at the Swedish furniture chain. IKEA will also help fix city streets.
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A section of Farley Street has been sinking, forcing the city to shut it down to one lane.
"I just have to go a different route because this isn't an option anymore," said longtime resident Sharon Riley.
City administrator Phil Lammers said Merriam plans to rebuild all substandard streets. He said the city has met 75 percent of its goal, but sales tax revenue coming from IKEA will help it along even more.
"A large part of our general fund simply lives and dies off of sales tax," Lammers explained.
He said the exact economic impact of IKEA is unknown, but it's bound to be a big boost for the town of 11,000 people. Lammers said other areas of the city will also benefit.
"We've got a number of parks throughout some of our neighborhoods. Some of them are a little bit underdeveloped and some of them need to be redeveloped," he said.
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Sidewalks and sewers will be helped as well. Half of Merriam's sales tax income goes to infrastructure improvements, so Lammers said residents can expect smoother streets in the years to come.
He also expects a number of businesses to pop up near the IKEA site. He said the store in Centennial, Colo., has attracted several furniture-related businesses.