The Georgetown County Planning Commission has made its recommendation to County Council on the Sunbelt Proposal requiring the project to conform with the overlay zone (NO BIG BOX!) which we obviously support. The final decision will be made by The County Council on December 11th.
Please contact as well one or more of the following council members who have not yet made their positions known. While representing areas of the county not directly impacted by this issue, we feel their interests and those of their constituents are best served by supporting those council members most directly affected by such a drastic change to the Waccamaw Neck.
Chairman Johnny Morant, District 7, 527-2448 JohnnyMorant@gtcounty.org
Please contact or write to one or more of the following County Councilmen to thank them for their support of our efforts and for their determination to help Pawleys Island retain its character as a unique seaside resort (all phone number have an 843 prefix):
Bob Anderson Pawleys Island 545-3058 BobAnderson@gtcounty.org
Jerry Oakley Murrell’s Inlet and Litchfield 222-7457 JerryOakley@gtcounty.org
Ron Charlton Georgetown and Southern Neck 527-2314 RonCharlton@gtcounty.org
The November 13 meeting of the County Council is merely a first read-through. Attendance is welcome but not necessary. On December 11 the all-important vote of the County Council on the Planning Commission’s recommendation will take place. We know some of you will be travelling in December, but please try to plan to be here, if at all possible, for this overridingly important meeting.
Welcome to Don’t Box the Neck. Here are some Big Box MYTHS and the actual FACTS about the Big Box Stores like Walmart:
Note: All statements made here are supported by numerous studies and research all of which are referenced here or located on our “Documentation” page. Take a look at these studies, print them out, read them, and share them with your friends. Know the truth…don’t buy the myths.
MYTH: A BIG BOX (LIKE A WALMART) MEANS JOBS.
FACT: Wrong! 200 mostly part time jobs at a big box like a Walmart will cost our currently employed citizens nearly 300 jobs. For every 1 job a big box like a Walmart brings, 1.5 existing jobs are lost! Since more jobs are lost than are gained we actually get more unemployment. Also, the jobs a big box like a Walmart offers pay less and have less benefits than the jobs that were lost. Bottom line: 300 people who need to keep their jobs lose them and even if all were offered a big box like a Walmart jobs, 100 would remain without a job. Do you want 100 more unemployed people here?
Based on the studies available the Walmart 1 Percent organization estimates that if Walmart had no stores in South Carolina there would be an additional 10,802 retail jobs in the state AND that, based on an estimate of Walmart’s share of the U.S.-China trade deficit, South Carolina lost an estimated 3,571 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.
MYTH: A BIG BOX (LIKE A WALMART) IS GOOD FOR EXISTING LOCAL BUSINESSES.
FACT: Nope, in 2 years after opening, up to 40 percent of the local businesses with competitive products will be out of business. The employees who work in those businesses are the ones who lose their jobs (as above). Do you work for one of these businesses? Do you shop at one or more of those businesses? Does your family own one of these businesses? If so, you are going to see that business close before 2014. Do you want that?
MYTH: A BIG BOX (LIKE A WALMART) WILL HELP GEORGETOWN COUNTY FINANCIALLY.
FACT: A big box like a Walmart’s payments of property tax income, sales taxes, and an estimated $140,000 in impact fees is more than offset by the hidden additional costs it brings to taxpayers in the form of greatly increased publicly paid health insurance for Walmart workers who cannot afford to pay for their own. Good Jobs First reports that, in 22 of 24 states which have disclosed information (SC has chosen not to disclose), Walmart has the largest number of employees or dependents on the public rolls (Medicaid and other tax subsidized healthcare) of any employer. Walmart Subsidy Watch reported that, to open a Walmart in Pageland, SC, the state gave Walmart a Job Tax Credit worth an estimated $19.2 million and a Development Tax Credit worth an estimated $7.1 million ($26.3 million total). The city of North Charleston agreed to reimburse the developer of a Walmart and Sam’s Club up to $10 million for infrastructure improvements through tax increment financing (MORE taxes). Does this sound like Walmart is providing financial help or taking it? Do you want that for Georgetown County? Do you want to pay more taxes to bring a Walmart here?
MYTH: WE HAVE TO HAVE A BIG BOX (LIKE A WALMART) TO REDEVELOP THE OLD SHOPPING CENTER.
FACT: The Developers, Sunbelt Ventures from Mount Pleasant, have millions invested in this property. If they can’t build a big box like a Walmart there they will have to redevelop the center in a manner that supports our community and is consistent with our zoning. Such a development will provide jobs in a way that will not hurt existing jobs and businesses. The shopping center does not HAVE to be a big box store like Walmart. There are other options.
MYTH: THE PLAN FOR A BIG BOX STORE LOOKS OK.
FACT: No, this BIG BOX plan is nearly 3 times larger than any existing building from Georgetown to the Horry County Line. The SCALE of the building is gigantic compared to what exists. If you live behind the building it will look like a wall over 210 feet long and 25 feet high.
MYTH: THEY SAY THE TRAFFIC WON’T BE TOO BAD.
FACT: Studies show that big boxes, for example Walmart Super Centers, draw 10,000 car trips a day and 7-9 tractor-trailer trips a day. A non-supercenter Walmart would likely draw 6,000 – 8,000 car trips a day and 5-6 tractor trailer trips. Do you think Highway 17 can handle up to 8,000 more cars and 6 more tractor-trailers every day? Can you deal with that kind of traffic? Do you want to?
MYTH: IT’S JUST ONE BIG BOX.
FACT: We fought LOWES and won 8 years ago. You think Lowes won’t be back? Who else? Check out the intersection of Highway 17 and 501 in Myrtle Beach to get some ideas.
MYTH: IT’S A DONE DEAL.
FACT: So was Lowes but Georgetown County Council listened to us that time and stopped it. If you raise your voice now to the council they can stop this new threat. Come to the public hearing at Waccamaw High School auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday September 20th. BE SEEN and BE HEARD in your opposition to the big box proposal that will hurt our community and cost us jobs.