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Ground-breaking celebration planned for City of North Tonawanda Walmart

by jmaloni
Fri, Jul 8th 2011 05:40 pm

Walmart Stores Inc. and local leaders will break ground for the new North Tonawanda Walmart at the site of the new store at the corner of Erie Avenue and Niagara Falls Boulevard on Monday, July 11. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m.

The event marks the completion of a successful project review and approval process by North Tonawanda's government. The ceremony will also highlight Walmart's commitment to the community.

City officials and representatives from Walmart will be present at the ceremony.

"We're thrilled to bring the savings, jobs, and convenience of a new Walmart to the North Tonawanda community," said Jason Klipa, Walmart director of public affairs and government relations. "We look forward to a new relationship with the city and its residents, and we know that we will be a great neighbor."

Welcoming the new retailer is North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt, who considers Walmart's opening a positive sign for economic development in the Lumber City.

"This project will provide hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to the City of North Tonawanda, hundreds of new jobs, and not one dollar of public money is being spent on the construction of this store," Ortt stated. "Walmart wants to be here, the vast majority of North Tonawanda residents want them here, and finally they are here."

Ortt noted that arriving at the groundbreaking had involved a long process, delayed by lawsuits from opponents of the Walmart store. The City of North Tonawanda went to court, where it successfully defended the right of retailers like Walmart to launch commercial enterprises in North Tonawanda. For one city official, Monday's groundbreaking marks the end of a long battle to help secure economic development.

"I am thrilled to see that North Tonawanda's wait is finally over," said City Attorney Shawn P. Nickerson. "As city attorney, I have worked tirelessly to ensure that the people of North Tonawanda would not be held hostage by a handful of opponents to the project. This is a great day for the taxpayers of North Tonawanda."

Joining Ortt and Nickerson at the groundbreaking will be Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka.

"North Tonawanda is committed to fostering a climate that creates jobs," Zadzilka said. "We want jobs, and we want our citizens to have a full range of options when it comes to where they shop. We're not in the business of keeping people that want to do business out of North Tonawanda - we're in the business of welcoming merchants, welcoming commerce, and welcoming well-planned growth. That's why we welcome Walmart."

The new Walmart will feature more than 30 aisles of general merchandise as well as a full-service grocery department with a bakery, deli, and produce department. More than 300 jobs will be created and thousands of dollars in tax revenue will be generated for vital city services.

Local residents and nearby businesses are invited to attend the groundbreaking.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the U.S. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

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