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Green Bay's Advisory Committee votes in favor of Walmart plan

A view of the city council chambers during Monday's Green Bay Advisory Committee meeting on Walmart. (Copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.)
A look at the latest Walmart rendering released on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (Photo from: Walmart).
A view of the city council chambers during Monday's Green Bay Advisory Committee meeting on Walmart. (Copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.)

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - After a more than four-hour meeting of the Green Bay City Council's Advisory Committee, aldermen voted 4-3 in favor of the latest Walmart proposal for a store in the Broadway District.

It's a non-binding vote, which does more to reveal who among city leaders are supportive of the 154-thousand square foot Supercenter and who is not.

"My feeling is that we should've really considered just going through due process," said Alderman Mark Steuer, who was one of the three no votes. "Go the plan commission, go to the city council...just go its due course."

Steuer also believes that there is another side to the story not being told.

"I feel it's being ramrodded forward, and I have a lot more information to talk about maybe at a future time," said Steuer. "Nobody speaks on the building's behalf. Nobody talks about the potential of maybe four, five or six different buildings coming in."

The man who called the meeting, City Council President Tom DeWane, felt it was successful.

"There are aldermen here who never saw the plan before, and that was the purpose of this meeting, I think it worked wonderful," said DeWane, who cast the deciding yes vote.

Walmart spokesperson Lisa Nelson led off the evening by opening the presentation portion of the meeting. 

"I think there was a need for more information and I think today we got the opportunity to present that and get some additional feedback," said Nelson. "There was a lot of support in the room. I think a lot of the concerns about the proposal are things we've addressed before."

On Tuesday, members of the Larsen Green Governing Board will discuss whether or not to extend the purchase agreement with Walmart for the site. That currently expires June 14, something that continues to be of concern to DeWane.

"I'm still worried about the deadline if something doesn't happen; I mean you can extend it one or two months, but what more can they bring?"

The vote Monday night is separate from what the city's plan commission will decide at their June 9th meeting. They will consider an amendment to the site's PUD, allowing for the store to be built. The city council will also vote on that proposal later next month.