Residents in Ellisville should know Wednesday evening whether a controversial project involving a Walmart will in fact move forward, Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul said this week.
“Unless something changes, I believe they’re going to be read and voted on, unless an unforeseen event causes a delay,” Paul said of the Walmart proposals. “I don’t see the point in delaying this any further."
Previously scheduled votes on the issues surrounding tax incentives for the developers of the Walmart, as well as related legislation setting terms for relocating residents in an apartment complex located at the planned site, were twice pushed back from expected voting dates.
The proposals before city council members would create a tax increment financing or TIF district that would created at the site, with standard lifespans for similar districts set at 23 years. Ellisville city staff said the project would generate about $500,000 annually for Ellisville's yearly budget of roughly $9 million.
Tandem legislation before the council woud establish a relocation policy in the city, which would compensate residents who reside in Clarkchester Apartments up to $1,000 per household for relocation costs; Clarkchester Apartments is one of several properties currently located at the proposed Walmart site .
to organize efforts meant to convince city council members to oppose the issue, and to discuss possible recall efforts against members who do support the proposal. , preliminary votes met the bare minimum for passage with five of the city council's seven members supporting the project. Paul and Councilmember Michelle Murray voted against the proposals.
Votes on the TIF legislation were delayed in part to address last-minute requests by the Sansone Group regarding the proposals terms, Councilmember Matt Pirrello said, and to to take part in the issue, which was at the forefront of Paul's campaign.
“I hope we prevail as leaders in taking down the TIF … to strip this problem that we’re having because it’s bigger than us, it’s bigger than Ellisville,” Paul said.
Paul said interest surrounding the proposal has been exacerbated by reports that executives representing Wal-Mart in Mexico paid officials there to try to influence the permitting process.
“Essentially Walmart has to bribe city officials in Mexico and our municipalities have to bribe developers to build here in our country,” Paul said. “It’s sad.”
"Ellisville has the chance to champion a cause that’s eating west county alive, or we have the chance to assimilate our region’s problems, essentially is what it comes down to," Paul said. "It’s a big night for our city, it’s a big night for our region, and like I said, we are not financial ruins.”
The Ellisville City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at .