The Florissant City Council saw its first glimpse of the Walmart development and Sunswept Community Improvement District (CID), but residents gave strong opposition to the laid out plans.
After listening to the presentation made by Alan Bornstein of THF Realty for the CID and new development plans for Walmart, about 10 residents stood up to speak out on the proposal.
Residents Michael and Elizabeth O’Fallon both said they support the development of a Walmart in town, but not through tax increment financing (TIF) or a CID.
“I hope we can reap the rewards of Walmart being here,” Michael O’Fallon said. “I encourage the council to think long and hard about this.”
Other residents said that they’re not looking forward to seeing a Walmart in Florissant period and want the council to consider rejecting the CID request.
Bornstein of THF Realty informed the council on a CID's benefits and changes to the Walmart plans, including the elimination of the outlot building, expanding the store site and increasing green space.
Portions of the building have been altered to satisfy the city’s masonry ordinance.
Bornstein said the CID would add a 1 percent sales overlay tax to the store’s products. In turn, the CID would generate revenue for the city’s parks and recreation budget, capital improvement fund and business licenses as well as school district property taxes.
The CID would help pay project development costs.
Bornstein emphasized that this would not be a TIF for the city, and the overlay tax would be similar to the one imposed at Shoppes at Cross Keys.
City Council members seemed on the fence about whether they would approve the measure in bill form.
“I’m still not clear if I would support this kind of incentive,” Ward 7 Councilwoman Karen McKay said. “The climate has changed in the last 10 years.”
This is Walmart's third attempt with the Florissant City Council. The original proposal included a TIF, which the council denied. Ward 4 Councilman Keith English said a bill would be brought for first reading at the Feb. 27 meeting regarding Walmart and its CID.