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Green Bay City Council puts Walmart vote on hold


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The controversial Walmart issue will last another month, after the Green Bay City Council approved a delay in a vote on a rezone of the planned unit development of the Larsen Green property.

City council members deadlocked on the proposal by Alderman Tom DeWane to delay this first reading of the zoning ordinance to allow for Alderman Tom Sladek, who's recovering from a stroke, a chance to vote.

"The calls that I've been getting lately have addressed the issue that we need to make it go away, we've had enough of this," said Alderman Jerry Wiezbiskie, who voted against delaying. 

"We've worked on this now for 10 months, and I would really like to see us come to some fruition tonight," said Alderman Mark Steuer, also a no vote.

Joining Steuer and Wiezbiskie were Aldermen Brian Danzinger, Tim DeWane and Randy Scannell. Voting in favor of a delay were DeWane, Aldermen Chris Wery, Guy Zima, Andy Nicholson and David Nennig.

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt put a damper on the dozens of anti-Walmart folks in attendance by casting the deciding vote in favor of a delay.

"Look this would be good for me tonight to deal with this, because I'm not supporting the project. But bigger than that is representation, and Alderman Sladek has a legitimate excuse," said Schmitt. "I would do this for, believe it or not, any alderman here. They deserve to be here, I've talked to Tom today and he wants to be here."

Now the earliest the city council could take up the rezoning issue is their next meeting on July 15. Walmart wants to have the 16-acre site in the Broadway District rezoned to allow for them to build a 154,000 square foot Supercenter with over 600 parking spaces.

According to city attorney Tony Wachewicz, the motion requires three readings which is equivalent to two city council meetings. So this controversial issue will continue throughout most of the summer.