HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Despite the efforts of Piedmont community residents, it seems a Walmart Supercenter may soon make its home on South Memorial Parkway.
At a community meeting Wednesday, residents raised concerns about the perceived increase in traffic and crime, as well as decrease in property values that would come with a 24-hour Supercenter.
For more than an hour and a half, residents discussed traffic concerns, honing in on a traffic study commissioned by Walmart, that concluded the property and surrounding roads could handle the additional traffic brought in by a Walmart.
Piedmont residents responded to the traffic study with skepticism and anger. They also called for the city to conduct a study of its own, at a cost of $30,000 to $40,000.
“We’re looking at studies that say everything’s going to be fine, and when it’s not we haven’t addressed it on the front end,” said one frustrated resident.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle attempted, unsuccessfully, to put those concerns to rest.
“The study was done by a reputable group. Skipper Consulting is a reputable group,” assured Battle.
“I understand y’all are a panel of experts but we are all experts on our little yard in Piedmont in Huntsville, Alabama,” countered one resident. The man’s comment was met with applause.
While a deal has not been finalized, many resident are resigned the Walmart will come to South Huntsville.
However, Mayor Tommy Battle says he will work with Walmart representatives to do what is best for the community.
“I can’t force Walmart to do certain things but thus far in the dealings they’ve been very workable, they have worked well with the city in every aspect we have asked them to,” said Battle.
“We will ask them to put up a privacy wall for protection and sound, move the truck entrance to be off of the Parkway, and lastly, to make sure we make sure the noise does not overwhelm the neighborhood.”
Battle says they will also ask Walmart to consider not being open 24 hours a day.