Waldo residents still not sold on Walmart

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Fed-up Waldo residents filled the Keystone Methodist Church Tuesday to hear Walmart's revisions to its plan of bringing a new neighborhood grocery store to the vacant Bingham Middle School.

For months, residents have been voicing opposition to the big box store moving into their neighborhood.

A crowd of about 100 people listened to some of Walmart's changes, which included reducing its hours of operation from 24 hours a day to 6 a.m. to midnight.

Some residents felt that wouldn't help because delivery trucks would still be going in and out of the area while the store was closed.

Site maps of the 41,000 square foot facility were put on display, and included an overhead pedestrian crosswalk for the Trolley Track Trail.

Katharine Crosson, like many of the residents against the project, is afraid of the increase in traffic.

"It's an incredibly tight site," Crosson said. "There's already a lot of traffic on Wornall that is not handled it very well."

Residents were asked to fill out feedback forms, which came in by the dozens. Most included reasons why Walmart was a bad idea -- but not Diane Price's.

"The current grocery stores in the area are okay, but Walmart's actually cheaper," Price said. "So I'm looking forward to them moving in."

Price feels the store may bring more traffic during certain times of the day, but it will also bring more tax revenue and jobs.

Those against the project would like to see the site have more of a community use than a commercial use. Walmart has made room for ball fields, but residents say that's not enough.

"It seems like its just tossing a crumb to the community," Crosson said. "It's not really enough of a playing field to accomplish much. The parking is inadequate."

Residents are asking for a traffic study to be completed, but a representative from the repurposing team said Walmart will want to wait until they've signed a sales contract before conducting a study.

The Kansas City Public School District hopes to make a decision about the future of the middle school by September.

Those interested in weighing on the decision are asked to send an email to repurposing@kcmsd.net.

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