Controversy Over Building a New Wal-Mart

More problems are on the horizon for a new Wal-Mart Supercenter planned for Bainbridge, Georgia. Some town residents say a proposed location will bring safety problems because of heavy traffic the business will have on a nearby highway.

There is another site but city officials say it will conflict with zoning regulations in that area. Though citizens are eager to get this new business in town, some say the problems that have come about may not be worth it.

Carl Garnet says getting onto Highway 27 from his church is already a major hassle because of the heavy traffic flow, and that traffic could increase by as much as 20 percent if Wal-Mart gets the city council's approval to build a Supercenter at the corner of Alice Road and 27.

"I spoke with someone with DOT to get some input and he says it's ludicrous to even adopt this plan because of the safety problems and the backup with traffic and accidents and tragedy," says Garnet.

The city council also has the option of moving the site back away from the busy highway and onto the grounds of Trinity Baptist Church, but officials say that will require re-zoning the area, which is not likely because of the traffic congestion.

"For the city council it's really to consider the application and decide whether this piece of property that's zoned high density residential is suitable to rezone that to commercial," Chris Hobby says.

Either way, some citizens in this area may lose, but Garnet says he hopes the city council will make the decision that welcomes development in the best interest of the community. If the site is moved away from the street, Trinity Baptist Church will have to relocate, and the pastor there says he willing to do so.

This issue being taken up Tuesday night, and is open to the public. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. We will let you know what was decided later Tuesday night at on Eyewitness News at 11.


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