Walmart hears homeowner’s concerns over new store

By: Kali Nicole

Walmart wants to build a new store near 27th and Yankee Hill Road, but neighbors say they don't want it. Monday night, both sides met and it got heated.

A lot of people though this meeting would be a little less rowdy with the Walmart big-wigs in town. Instead, some Lincoln residents say that's what fired them up even more. They say, Walmart wasn't even willing to listen.

With more than 300 South Lincoln residents in one corner, and a handful of national Walmart officials in the other, round one goes to the homeowners.

“All of these people here are telling you they don't want you in the area, guarantee the next petition will be on a pledge not to shop there,” said one of the homeowners.

Many homeowners say the only reason the Monday night meeting got heated is because despite the proposed plans Walmart showed them, the big box officials weren't addressing the major concerns for the 27th and Yankee Hill area, including drainage, safety and traffic.

“Grainger Parkway is a thirty foot roadway with a median that will not support the levels and type of traffic your store will attract,” said Russ Rip of Lincoln.

Some suggestions were given, including the most popular: moving the store back to that original Highway 77 and Denton Road location that was recently canceled. Residents claim taxpayers paid for a large chunk of the $4 million road and sewer adjustments in the area, so Walmart could move in.

But officials from the big box say that location just doesn't interest them anymore. “There are no roofs being built there. You have to keep in mind this is a multi-million dollar project we're planning,” said an official with Walmart.

Leaving once again, no solution to the empty space in South Lincoln.