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Walmart Express raises concern, excitement for Merkel residents

Published On: Apr 24 2014 07:16:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2014 10:49:45 PM CDT
MERKEL, Texas -

The town of Merkel is torn about the possibility of a new Walmart Express landing in the community.

At Monday's public hearing, there were many strong opinions expressed by business owners and residents.

Some residents said they were excited about that the possibility of a Walmart being located right in the city, as opposed to driving to surrounding cities.

“I think it should help us with the sales tax. I think this town needs a little boost,” Merkel resident Marion Shelton said. “There's a lot of empty houses around here. It would be nice if some of them could be filled up and the people would be employed by a new Walmart.”

Others are questioning how small businesses will thrive.

"If it comes in we're gonna lose small businesses, that means we're gonna have folks out of jobs and that means they're gonna be folks that are gonna have to hustle around and try to find other jobs,” said Bill Jones, Merkel resident. “Part-time jobs don't pay the bills.”

The Merkel Drug Store issued a statement regarding Walmart opening a new store: "We are concerned about the possible negative impact. We employ over 60 people. If these businesses suffer or close, it will affect their families of over 150 people."

Merkel isn’t the only small town debating the new Walmart opening. The company is also looking to open an express store in Albany.