UPDATE: On April 10, the proposal was not approved, leaving the current Wal-mart the only Wal-mart in La Plata.
Wal-mart submitted a proposal to the La Plata Town Council to relocate the existing store to Rosewick Road, in the hopes of building a Wal-mart Supercenter with a full grocery and delicatessen. On April 6, La Plata residents will be able to vote for or against the proposal.
Many oppose the idea because of environmental concerns, but Wal-mart emphasized that they use energy-saving materials and low-impact lighting features, and also lead a sustainability effort that helps reduce energy consumption. Others question how La Plata’s economy will be affected, but the store believes the development will improve and add to the tax base of La Plata, as well as provide 50 to 70 new jobs.
Betsy Burian, the president and CEO of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, had quite a few things to say about the proposal. “The Chamber is in favor of the annexation that would allow the new Wal-mart to become part of the Town of La Plata,” she said. “Its presence will add quite a bit to the tax base of the Town as, generally speaking, businesses pay higher taxes and use far fewer services from the municipality than residences! Adding to the tax base will benefit the citizens in that the Town will realize additional income that can then possibly be budgeted toward additional and helpful services.
“Also, there is the potential of more jobs. Granted, they might not be ‘career-oriented’ positions, but they would certainly be jobs that would serve as second incomes along with jobs that would be available and close by for young people.”
Voters will be able to “approve the resolution” and confirm the new Wal-mart will be part of the Town of La Plata, or “reject the resolution” and confirm the Wal-mat will not be a part of the Town of La Plata. Voters have a lot to consider, and all anyone can do is perform careful research and be aware of the consequences of each choice.