BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – Hundreds of people came to a meeting in Ballston Spa Thursday night to debate allowing Walmart to open a store in the village.
Thursday night marked the opening of public hearings concerning the new plans Walmart has for Ballston Spa. The attempt comes after Walmart failed to build a superstore in the village in 2005.
Those opposed and those in support of the proposed Walmart attended the meeting. A lot of voices were heard during the meeting. At times, people – mainly those in opposition –yelled and got rowdy. But for the most part, a lot of the same discussion was held that’s been going on for years.
Walmart promises 300 new jobs and up to 150 new construction jobs. There would also be a new CDTA bus stop, road improvements and sewer improvements.
Those in support of the store said jobs and tax revenue are needed in the area.
“Drive up and down the road and you see a lot of people not working,” John Miller said. “Every day people come in and ask for jobs in the area, so the area needs it.”
“Now is our chance to start bringing some of that money back to our town,” Allen Cox said.
Those opposed said a Walmart would snarl traffic and ruin the image of the community.
“We’ve worked so hard, and I just don’t want to see a Walmart come in and take it all away,” Jean Devlin said.
“Already the traffic is way too much for me,” Tammie Betti said.
The proposed plan is far from a done deal. The public hearings will continue at the next planning board meeting, and the project still needs approval on a county level as well as locally in the village.