The majority of the 9 member Topeka city council agreed that a new Walmart Super Center in East Topeka would benefit the city, but the issue wasn't without differing opinions.
Topeka city council members voted 8-2 in favor of constructing a 16,000 square foot Walmart Super Center on Topeka's east side, with councilman Chad Manspeaker and Nathan Schmidt voting against the ordinance.
The future Walmart will be constructed along SE 25th and California Avenue.
Council member Denise Everhart, he districts representative, sees the approval as an added boost to the areas residents. She said, "Not only does it give these residents an opportunity for new jobs but we don't have a lot of stores in that area. It's an opportunity for people who walk and ride the bus and that live in the area to find a job or shop somewhere that is affordable."
Councilman Manspeaker agreed that the residents deserved a neighborhood grocery store, but took opposition due to Walmart's business approach. He said, "I don't feel Walmart is a good neighbor or community member. I think they exploit our community through labor practices, lending practices and how they advertise sales. I don't feel they are a good deal."
On the other side of the issue, some East Topeka residents in attendance were already counting the benefits. David Cullip said, "This will save me at least $200 a month just off the top of my head. It's going to be a great thing for this side of town. I can't wait, and I'm actually excited.
The Walmart Super Center is set to open in the fall of 2014.
The Topeka Zoo also unveiled a brand new vision of the future. Information will be on full display this Saturday at the Topeka Zoobilee Birthday Bash. Tickets are available by visiting www.topekazoo.org