Letter to the EditorDec 29th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Opinion
An Open Letter to Walmart
Approaching Beebe from Little Rock, I was delighted by the sign, “Beebe—Your Dream Hometown.” We have loved living here for these sixteen years—the fine people, the lovely natural setting, the sense of community. Now, Walmart is coming to Beebe, our dream hometown! We are pleased by the prospect of prosperity, for Walmart employs those needing jobs and, of course, supports the local economy with taxes. Nevertheless, we have three concerns.
Our greatest concern is proper drainage. The Walmart site chosen lies alongside a waterway connecting into the network of ditches already strained by the development of Windwood Subdivision. One of our neighbors has said, “I am traumatized by having my home flooded three times within a year. I awaken from nightmares of the water pouring in again.” Her lot had not flooded in the last hundred years, but the changes that “created” suitable building sites all around her have flooded, resulting in a section of decaying, abandoned homes in Windwood. Walmart, we implore you to plan carefully as you prepare the site so that your development does not exacerbate our community’s drainage problems.
The trees that enhance our lives in Windwood may also be threatened. Large sections of woods now provide both beauty and privacy while soaking up some of the excess water. We can only hope the woods will be left to buffer us from the noise of Walmart’s commercial activities and to help soak up the water running off the large paved areas required. Although landscaping is not required by the City of Beebe, please minimize the ravaging of the existing natural world.
In addition, we ask that our city’s glorious starry skies be protected from light pollution. Walmart, you can choose not to blot out our skies with orange haze. Instead, please use downward-directed lighting to illuminate the outside areas surrounding the new store.
As citizens of Beebe and close neighbors of the new development, we welcome Walmart to our dream hometown. We shop at Walmart every week and will be glad to be contributing to the local economy. In return, we ask that Walmart ensure proper drainage, leave the woods as a green space buffer zone, and use downward-facing lighting to illuminate the area. Careful and thoughtful planning can keep the dream from turning into a nightmare for the citizens of Beebe.
Faye and Charles Moore
Editor’s Note: Walmart has not chosen to make a public announcement that they are, in fact, coming to Beebe. We welcome that announcement in the near future.