Walmart's plans for Waldo school site not so certain

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Plans to tear down the former Bingham Middle School and replace it with a Walmart Neighborhood Market has stirred up a lot of controversy in Waldo. The neighborhood has many concerns -- and, apparently, so does Walmart.

The school site sits in a Community Improvement District (CID), where businesses pay a higher property tax or charge an extra half-cent in sales tax. That money goes towards improvements like streetscape projects.

"We've taken some efforts to try to address some of the concerns that the neighborhood groups have expressed," local broker Jeff Clayton said at a meeting between Walmart and the neighborhood last Thursday.

Clayton is working with Walmart on the project and said the retailer learned only last week the site sits in a CID.

Many neighbors left Thursday's meeting thinking Walmart was planning to opt out of the CID, which CID president Sam Gromowsky said is not an option.

Company spokesman Daniel Morales said if Walmart moves forward with plans, it will take part in the Waldo CID. Right now, Walmart is looking at the numbers to see if the project is financially feasible.

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