Tarpon Springs and the Suburban-blight of WalMart Supercenters
Wal-Mart is trying to add the 44th (or is it more?) store to the Tampa Bay Metro Area by sticking one of their Supercenters on the bank of the Anaclote river in Tarpon Springs.
While Mary Jo Malone wrote an incredible piece on the subject a some time back on the fact Tampa Bay has too many Wal-Marts as is, I had to send Tarpon Springs my own piece on why Wal-Mart is not a good thing for the city.
I am very upset at the shortsightedness of those in power with the City of Tarpon Springs with their collective reasoning behind blessing Wal-Mart. Though the city has not approved of the new Super Wal-Mart being built on the banks of the Anclote river, it seems just a formality even with the public outcry against it.
One of the “major” issues that the Mayor and others have had with Wal-Mart is the sale of natural sponges at the proposed location – which seems to be an attempt to save downtown Tarpon Springs and the tourist trade. It also seems foolhardy seeing that you can go to most any Wal Mart location and see they do not sell natural sponges.
What Wal-Mart also sells is the death of small businesses. What this Wal-Mart will also sell is the slow death of Downtown Tarpon Springs. Has the city of Tarpon Springs paid absolutely no attention to the history of this area? Look at Clearwater alone – they struggle greatly because they have sold off land on US 19 to as many retail giants as possible, and now they are hit with a lackluster downtown area and are desperate to draw the people back. There is money for investment, sure, but the key component to downtown Clearwater is Scientology now, not residents..
Tarpon Springs, by the logic shown, is greatly concerned that the tourist trade will be unharmed by this addition to the city limits. What about the rest of Downtown? What about the small business owners who can’t compete with the monopoly-like tactics of Wal-Mart, which tends to profit even when losing money on sales? Is expanding the cities tax structure for one store so important that it kills off the rest of the cities tax structure by forcing the smaller competition to close their stores?
This isn’t even getting into the negative environmental impact of the store on the banks of the river, the ecological damage that this store will undoubtedly do and the increase of sprawl that we don’t need in North Pinellas / Southern Pasco county.
If the city of Tarpon Springs needs additional tax revenue — raise taxes. If the city of Tarpon Springs wants to be for Corporations and By Corporations like the rest of America under the current State government and Federal Government, by all means — vote in Wal Mart and watch the central district of Tarpon Springs fall away with time. The Sponge Docks will remain but everything else will pass.
Not the best… But still, it tries to convey a point.
Anyone who wants to speak out for or against Wal-Mart being built in Tarpon Springs shoueld email the city clerk and good luck conveying your point.
I work for ABC Action News..please call me about the city council meeting tuesday night. My number is 813-354-2946