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Walmart issue back in front of Green Bay City Council tonight


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay City Council is expected to take up a proposal to rezone the planned unit development of the Larsen Green site tonight.

However, Council President Tom DeWane is expected to seek a one-month delay in the vote as Alderman Tom Sladek recovers from a stroke.

"I would be in favor of that," says Alderman Chris Wery. "Before we didn't know Alderman Sladek's timetable, but now that we do and he wants to be part of this process, I think we should let him and his district be represented."

Last week, Mayor Jim Schmitt says he wouldn't support the delay and feels city leaders need to decide this issue sooner rather than later. 

"I think the Mayor knowing where probably a majority of the council sits perhaps sees a tie vote of 5-5 on the horizon and sees a victory," says Wery. "And he would not want to wait too long to let Tom have a chance to weigh in."

Wery says if there is a tie vote, he expects Schmitt to break the tie by voting no.

Walmart is proposing a 154,000 square foot store with 623 parking spaces for the 16-acre site in the Broadway District.

If a vote happens tonight, Wery expects a close vote, but doesn't believe Schmitt will use his veto power. Last week, the city's Plan Commission adopted the planning department's recommendation against the proposal.

No matter what happens tonight, Walmart can’t receive the green light to build its Supercenter.

If the council wants to support Walmart’s plan, it would have to vote to take up the issue as a separate ordinance. That would mean the council could vote on the rezoning request next month, after a public hearing.

If the council votes along the same lines as the city's Plan Commission, it would be back to the drawing board for the retail giant. 

The city council meeting begins at 7 p.m.