To the editor:
I recently read Doug Brown's column and just now Gwen Klingenberg's response regarding the proposed Wal-Mart at Sixth and Wakarusa. Feelings continue to run strong on both sides of this issue.
Because we retired and relocated back to Lawrence in 2005 - two property tax increases ago - I might be considered too much of a greenhorn to weigh in on this issue. However, here goes:
There's no doubt a new Wal-Mart (God bless their new green soul) or any large-box retailer will create additional traffic in the area. That's why Hereford House (now planning a new start) and others set up shop out here. Also, our city recently spent millions to widen Sixth Street and Wakarusa to four lanes (with double turn lanes on both) to ease congestion.
We live northwest of this intersection and are aware of hundreds of housing units either under construction or planned over the next few years. All within one mile.
Additional retail services - like Wal-Mart - would be beneficial to current and future residents in the area, and thousands of residents west of town - such as Perry, Lecompton, Big Springs, etc. That will increase sales tax revenue for our city.
Sales tax is based on sales revenue - period.
We love and support downtown Lawrence and have felt - for 50 years - that it's a very special place. That's why we drive five miles each way many, many times a week to shop and dine.
But there's no way downtown can fulfill 100 percent of the needs of our city's population west of Wakarusa and the outlying area.