- From traffic concerns to fear this will hurt local businesses, one day after city leaders passed plans to build a super Wal-Mart in Merrill, residents are voicing their concerns again.
Dave Johnson, Merrill City Administrator, said “We’ve got people from Merrill who will go to Wausau for the super Wal-Mart because the Wal-Mart here isn’t able to offer them everything they want.”
The proposed 120,00 square foot building would be built across the street from the current Wal-Mart, off Highway 64 and Pine Ridge. The new facility would bring in dozens of jobs to an area where unemployment teeters on 9%.
“For the city of Merrill it will offer a better shopping opportunity, low prices, it will also offer more job opportunities, as well as bring more business to the city,” said Johnson.
But at an intersection that already generates plenty of traffic, some residents worry the new center will make it worse.
Merrill resident Adam Yirkovsky said “The place where they’re planning to build it will be hectic, more hectic.”
But Dave Johnson disagrees. He said “The DOT will require them to make certain changes that will allow traffic to not be any worse than it is and hopefully make it better.”
Even if the traffic concerns are addressed, some people worry it will detract from local businesses.
“I don’t think it’s necessary. There’s other things the town should be spending its money on. People would spend their money here than the locals and that would lose out on local business,” said Yirkovsky.
Merrill resident Roy Thiel said “Town is growing. Why run all the way to Wausau? There’s so many things that other people bring up, I say go ahead and do it.”
The next step has Wal-Mart putting together final plans and receiving building permits before a Devlopment Agreement is finalized.
No word yet on when building will begin.