BC Walmart – To be or not to be
Mayor Kirk Roccaforte said it’s been no reply at all regarding a tentative proposal in building a new Mini Super Walmart in Bridge City.
A Mini Super Walmart doesn’t have an automotive service center.
Roccaforte and other city officials last met with a development group a year ago. The group was not with Walmart Corporation. The city is still waiting to hear from them.
“There’s been no answer,” Roccaforte said. “We want Walmart to stay in Bridge City. The last thing we’ve heard was they were putting off any new construction for a year and they’ll get back with the city.
“The sad part is we really don’t have a discussion on this other than a piece of property requested to be rezoned to be a possible Walmart.”
That piece of property is located behind Bridge City Bank at the intersection of FM 1442 and Ferry Road.
Roccaforte and the city council had the impression from the visiting group the development could possibly be a Walmart.
“We had every indication it would be a Walmart. But Walmart didn’t make the pitch,” he said.
The group requested a portion of the property to be rezoned to commercial, but they were denied their request by the city council. The property behind the bank and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is currently zoned as commercial.
Roccaforte added he was surprised by the rejection, but it’s the council’s prerogative to do so.
“All they (the developers) would have to do is just meet the codes and build it. A small part is not zoned as commercial and they wanted it rezoned,” he said.
Another concern to Roccaforte is the heavy traffic that already exists at the intersection and the increase a commercial development would add to it.
Also, flooding there is a concern after a heavy rain.
“You need the water to flow out. No detention ponds would work there at or below sea level,” Roccaforte said. “Drainage needs to be a part of the plan. Part of the pre-planning. It’s not fixable there.”
Roccaforte said when he receives a four or five inch rainfall at his residence, it floods his home and there’s nothing he can do about it.
“You have to leave it alone,” he said.
Roccaforte said he wouldn’t reject a proposal for the present Walmart on Texas Avenue either being rebuilt or expanded.
“We definitely want them to stay. We hope to get a meeting with them the first of the year. We’ll do whatever they want to do so they won’t leave here,” he said.
Photo – A development group met with the Bridge City City Council to request a portion of this property at FM 1442 and Ferry Road be rezoned as commercial. The request was denied. Mayor Kirk Roccaforte said the group gave them the indication a Walmart could be built there though they were not with the company.
A year later, the city is still waiting to hear back from the group.
RECORD PHOTO: David Ball