Wal-Mart Representatives Address Issues Before Florence Vote

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In an effort to stop a proposed Wal-Mart super center from moving in to Florence, an outspoken community group has voiced their concerns for weeks.

However a Wal-Mart representative says those concerns have been addressed.

During recent city council meetings, comments from the CAUS group dominate.

At the last meeting, members stood up for nearly an hour expressing their concern.

Members say it's a passion to protect the General John Coffee family cemetery.  According to Citizens Against Urban Sprawl, the cemetery's boundary lines blur.

But Wal-Mart representatives feel confident their store does not cross any boundaries.

“We have been making every effort to design our site in such a way so as to avoid any burial sites,” said Bill Wertz, Wal-Mart spokesman.

Wertz says the company has visited the cemetery site and conducted radar testing to determine exactly where people were laid to rest.

“That study indicated unmarked graves were unlikely but we have turned that research over to the Alabama Historical Commission and asked them to look at it and let us know what the right thing to do might be,” said Wertz.

The tests have also been turned over to the Florence City Council to consider.

“Should the city decide we should address any specific concerns regarding the site or our design we`re open to discussing modifications,” said Wertz.

And while the CAUS group would like Wal-Mart representatives to discuss a different location all together, it's distance that makes a difference for some Lauderdale County Residents.

“From where I live, Petersville down here, it`s probably ten miles and I wouldn`t have to go another 6, 7 miles down the road,” said John Fox.

The Florence City Council is expected to vote whether to re-zone the land from residential to commercial during Tuesday’s city council meeting.