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With a wide margin of votes, has Walmart become a stale issue?


Sioux Falls, S.D. (KELO AM) - The vote was cast and with a seven-to-one margin, approving the Walmart Supercenter at 85th and Minnesota.  With a mixed crowd of Sioux Falls City Council Members, people for and people against the vote fell in a one sided way.

“It was a big night for the city and there was a big collective sigh of relief that a decision was finally made,” said Mike Huether, Mayor, Sioux Falls.  “I think people were sick and tired of talking about it and are glad a decision was made.  The great thing about this town, people want good dialogue and to treat everyone with professionalism and respect.

Huether said that it was a good night and people spoke to the council and they were very informative.  It appears everyone did their homework and everyone was full of passion on the issue. 

“This vote sets the stage for the development to proceed, however, there are things that need to be discussed such as landscaping and signage,” said Huether.  “We are at a point where the council believes it’s time to move forward and make this happen for the city of Sioux Falls and the State of South Dakota.”

Huether said that he hopes the debate is done.  He feels the vast majority of the people in Sioux Falls wants to see this happen.  In a month, the developers have to go through once again and discuss the landscaping, drainage, lighting and signage. 

“I want to make it clear to everyone that I couldn’t care less how powerful Walmart is, they don’t control this town,” said Huether.  “Walmart will do what they need to do for the citizens of this town to give them what they want.”

Councilor Greg Jamison cast the lone dissenting vote.  He said that this needs to work for everyone.  He appreciates the changes Walmart is willing to make with smaller signs and no overnight parking. 

The members of the Save Our Neighborhood group said they are going to continue to fight. 

Mayor Mike Huether was interviewed by Greg Belfrage August 7, 2013.  His interview can be listend to at:  http://kelo.com/podcasts/greg-belfrage-show/742/mayor-huether-reacts-to-walmart-rezoning/