Wal-Mart coming to King

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KING, N.C. -- Wal-Mart is coming to town; not the jingle many King residents wanted to recite this holiday season. Yet, after a city council meeting Monday evening, it was decided – the superstore will be setting up shop near Five Forks Street just off South Main.

Wal-Mart first approached the city about moving in about a year ago. After multiple discussions, their rezoning request was approved.

"A lot of our people in town have voted against it and tried as long as they could to keep it away," said King resident Mary Epperson.

City Manager Homer Dearmin told FOX8 that the city has no authority to keep certain businesses out, regardless of their size, as long as the proper ordinances are met. Dearmin also said the company would hire a total of 250 – 275 full and part-time employees and the tax revenue for the city would increase by about $800,000 to $1 million a year.

"I think it would draw people from other cities to come and that might back up traffic or affect our roads," said Epperson.

Dearmin said the city originally looked into building a roundabout in the area of the proposed site, but later decided that there was not enough room. He added that, at the very least, they would be widening roads; and Wal-Mart is prepared to handle any traffic issues and the city would monitor them doing so.

Another obvious concern is the effect the corporation would have in the revenue of locally-owned businesses.

"Competition is a good thing. But, at the same time, it's a lower quality product that is taking jobs from the community," said Maggie Summey, a local artist.

Yet some business owners, like Dalton's Crossing Co-Owner Joyce Mauldin-Ray, say they are staying positive about their new neighbors.

"Is it going to help us? I don't know that. But I'm not going to let is hurt us," said Mauldin-Ray. "I think the people who shop with me are going to stay true. I really do."

Mauldin-Ray says she plans to do the same.

"I'm still going to go to the same pharmacy I've been going to, I'm still going to buy tires at the same place I've bought tires."

Dearmin says Wal-Mart plans to begin construction by the beginning of 2015 and the store should be up and running by this time next year.

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