With recent talk about rezoning and a Walmart Neighborhood Market being built at the corner of Legion Rd. and Highway 162, the Hope Mills Bee has seen a lot of ideas bandied about on social media and heard many ideas in and around town. Some of them are good, solid ideas; some of them have been quasi-valid, and some of them have been downright ludicrous. Some of the ideas expressed have been personal and reactive and subjective in nature, but many people have, fortunately, been pretty objective. Many people have clearly come up with their justifications after they formed their opinions, though.
Without choosing a side, this is a pretty thorough, comprehensive breakdown of what The Bee has seen so far. We list them in pro- first, anti- second because that is the order in which the ideas have been heard at both town meetings where they were heard recently. Read these lists with whatever bias you want to assume is there, but these are verbatim quotes The Bee has heard, we add no bias.
The pro-rezoning/inevitable Walmart side has presented such ideas as:
–change is inevitable, it’s not Mayberry any more
–Walmart has done a lot of good for charities and churches as well as previous property owners along N. Main St.
–we need to keep what tax revenue they want to give us so it doesn’t go to Spring Lake or Fayetteville
–it’s not a Supercenter, it’s a Neighborhood Market, they don’t really increase crime
–traffic is dangerous at that corner now
–school officials have been wanting a traffic light at the bus entrance for a while now
–all the other corners there are commercial and no one can sell their houses as residences
–a right turn lane into Pinewood Lakes will benefit all the residents there
–175 long-term jobs and 250 short-term construction jobs
–improving the water line along the frontage of the development
–low prices, more convenience
The anti-rezoning/inevitable Walmart side has presented such ideas as:
–change should be managed toward ‘progress’: if this corner becomes commercial, then it will have a domino effect down Legion Rd. toward Cameron Rd.
–we shouldn’t worry about Spring Lake or Fayetteville, if Walmart or anyone else wants to build there, they will
–tax revenue comes out of the pockets of citizens, not Walmart. Another Walmart won’t increase the amount of money people can spend, except for the ones who get new jobs, it will just shuffle some of it.
–the established Walmart in Hope Mills had about 550 Hope Mills police calls in 6 months. A 24/7 smaller Walmart still provides many opportunities for crimes and needs for police and other services.
–everybody has to be careful out in traffic, no matter where you live
–a stop light at the bus entrance won’t make anything smoother, really
–more traffic attracted by a retail corner will make it harder to turn out of Pinewood Lakes
–retail jobs are notoriously short-term and most are financed by government subsidies, which reduces the local tax revenue and other benefits
–you can get gas at 92 pumps in Hope Mills already
–all the promised improvements would only be required because the Walmart is coming
–the other Walmart is less than 3 miles away, the other proposed Supercenter at 301/Black & Decker Rd. is less than 4 miles away.
We advise you to get to know as many facts as you can, without any biases. Then make a determination. Don’t learn the facts so you can convince anyone, though, just learn the facts so you can make sure town officials are doing what’s best for the town. That’s the only way that there will be accountability.
It’s a question of what we as citizens value. We should put the most value what is best for our town overall, now and in the near future, since the distant future is built on now and the near future.
Whatever way this all shakes out, do we value being ‘right’ or do we value being civil when we disagree?
The Hope Mills Bee is going to go on the record as saying this: if getting a majority of the Board of Commissioners, or any board, to agree with us is more important than the overall greater good of all our citizens and the people we mostly likely will live with for many years to come, then we all lose. The only winners in that case are the Commissioners or whoever we are trying to impress, because that only makes them think they are worth impressing.