Letters City council comments

To the editor:

Yes it is I. I go for months without saying anything and then something comes up that I feel so strong about that I don't know how to be quiet.

Something I should not do is watch the city council meetings, but you can be grateful I watch them on TV rather than in the live audience.

At the last city council meeting I would have asked Larry Brady if Wal-Mart would be buying his land would he want the city council to be waiting three to six months before they allowed him to sell his land so they could check things out? I doubt he would have.

Paul Hasse asked something about if the retail business had to be under a roof � the answer was yes. I don't understand where he was going with this.

I would have told the man that was so worried about his lawn, the truck parking, the lights, the noise pollution, and much more to get real. When you move to town these are the things you lose. As far as Rasmussen Motors throwing their lights at him, was not Rasmussen's there long before him? I would have told him to move to the country and then he has all the space he needs to ride his ATV.

I would like to thank Dr. Ralph Brown for his statistics, Howard Willson for his statements, and Neil Melby. Each one of them got up there no matter how many there were out in the audience against their opinions. Mr. Willson, what you said should be words of encouragement to other Mom and Pop stores.

I don't know if anyone has ever taken the time to thank Dr. Green for his adamant pursuit of the Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge. Like I said in my last letter, I thought this would be the biggest mistake we committed to and I did have to eat my words. Thank you, Dr. Green.

I would like to thank the city council for holding a peaceable meeting and keeping it on track. I would also like to thank them for the rezoning; this means they do see that Vermillion is a place worth saving.

When you hold those noon meetings it does make a lot of citizens suspicious. Have we not learned to be that with the way things happen on the national level, let alone on the city level? If you are on the city council, you know when the regular council meetings are going to be held. You get your packets on Friday night and you have until Monday night to go over them; this is your obligation to go over them and know what is up without those noon meetings.

You chose to run for this office knowing that there was work and distrust with it. After all, we live in the world of computers, telephones and other ways of communication other than holding noon meetings. This is the first time in a long time that I can remember agreeing with Jeanette Stone.

People are suspicious of government and they have learned to be that way. There have been things that have happened in this city to also make them suspicious.

Respectfully submitted,

Roxan Brown


Keep money here

To the editor:

What is with the people of Vermillion! They want the best yet run business out of town and burn the bridges behind them.

What is so wrong about being able to spend and keep our money in Vermillion? That is where I want to spend mine!

Cheri Coulson


Our reaction

To the editor:

Our reaction to the Wal-Mart news!

At first, when I heard about Wal-Mart possibly coming to town, I was elated. Fran and I moved here almost three years ago knowing that we would probably have to travel in order to get shoes, clothing selections and other items we could not get in Vermillion.

After doing that for about three months we decided it would be nice to have something like a Wal-Mart nearby or in Vermillion. Our feelings have gotten stronger as time marches on, as well as wear and tear on the car, and increased cost of gasoline being factored in. I'm ready to be able to shop for needed items in Vermillion.

The news came verbally and just after spending the Fourth of July in Brookings. It is amazing to me how not many years ago, Brookings was smaller than Vermillion and now it is close to double Vermillion's population. I checked the Internet for census information. Brookings went from 16,270 (1990) to 18,504 (2000). Vermillion went from 10,034 (1990) to 9,765 (2000).

I applaud Roxan Brown, Robert Grossman, and Ray O'Connor for their recent letters. I especially enjoyed Roxan's letter. We visited my mother-in-law here when those stores were downtown and it was a larger retail business area. I agree with Roxan's comments totally.

I'd like to add one more item to Robert Grossman's list. Wal-Mart contributes money to schools, community organizations and individuals recognized by the community through grants and awards. This is beyond what they pay in taxes. Their associates and stores also donate products, time and space for community organizations using their property for fund raisers with Wal-Mart many times matching funds.

Another item is they welcome RV and motor homes to their parking lots without charge. That brings other people to our area to visit, shop and eat. I only have one small disagreement with Ray O'Connor's letter. My wife and I are soon to be senior citizens and I believe many seniors might agree that they have the time to travel to shop for items that cannot be found in Vermillion.

However, being on limited income, as most seniors are, travel at gasoline prices today is not done without thorough examination of how many things they must get this trip, so they don't have to make another trip again within the next couple months.

Weather is also more of a problem for seniors and they are more reluctant to travel. I'm not willing to risk my life or limb to travel even to Yankton for something I feel I need if the weather isn't conducive and I'm not a senior yet. There has to be a real need for me to leave Vermillion.

Lastly, while traveling in Pennsylvania, Fran and I came across a Wal-Mart located between two small towns. Along with it now are other small businesses, like a Dairy Queen, small shops and a real estate office. There are no towns within 10 or 15 miles on either side. It's basically in the middle of nowhere. It is always busy when we go past.

The businesses around are well kept and apparently have traffic as they continue to exist and have for more than 10 years. A small community is also developing along the road to and from. I believe Wal-Mart would also serve this community well and in all the positive ways already mentioned by others.

In closing, if Wal-Mart does not come to Vermillion, I would suggest they look to Union County at or near the junction of Highway 50 and I-29. I could drive that far. I might even be tempted to move in that direction.

What say, Vermillion?

Joe Zuppo


Prepare for retail 'gorilla'

To the editor:

I read with a great deal of interest the two letters to the editor in the July 9 issue of the Plain Talk. Both of the letters from Liz Merrigan and from John Drissen expressed a great deal of anguish concerning the proposed Wal-Mart store along Highway 50. I can understand their concerns.

Here, in Stow, OH, we gave conditional approval to a Wal-Mart store some 150,000 foot square in area, but we attached some rather stringent conditions to the approval. Those conditions we call "impact fees" since when a Wal-Mart comes to any city they will impact the community in a number of ways, many of which are negative.

Those negative effects are well known to anyone who has a Wal-Mart store in their city, particularly the small business owners.

In our case our first question to them was "how badly do you want to build in Stow? and why?" Secondly, we required a traffic study, paid for by Wal-Mart. The projections from that study showed that there were a number of road and street improvements that would have to be made to accommodate expected traffic increases.

We then required that the cost of those improvements must be borne by Wal-Mart. The improvements involved lane additions, traffic sensing traffic lights and "stacking lanes" at those lights, plus other traffic-related expenses at all the intersections and streets where traffic increases were expected to occur.

The total cost to Wal-Mart was $1.5 million to meet those requirements. To the surprise of some of us, they agreed with what we were asking. Their marketing studies and demographic assessments are outstanding.

When they build anywhere, they have determined beforehand that they will succeed. They knew that even with all the "impact fees" they would make money!

In addition, we have a requirement that if they should decide to leave the city during the first five years of operation, they must tear down and remove the structure. The reason for this requirement was that we did not want to be stuck with a huge, empty building in the event they pulled out. If their marketing assessments were wrong, it should show up within the first five years. The Stow Wal-Mart has impacted a number of the smaller businesses in the immediate area since they are capable of and will undercut all of their competition.

I would not pretend to tell the city of Vermillion whether they should or should not approve a Wal-Mart store. What I am saying is that you ought to consider that you will be putting a retail "gorilla" in your back yard and you should be prepared for the consequences.

Incidentally, my wife Helen (Dahlman) Meier is a native of Vermillion and a graduate of USD. I am a graduate of SDSU although I did attend USD for three years where I met Helen. We consider Vermillion our second home.


Chuck Meier

Councilman, city of

Stow, OH

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