Bossier City Council reverses decision involving controversial Walmart land

Bossier City Council reverses decision involving controversial Walmart land

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Plans surrounding a controversial Super Walmart took a step backward Tuesday afternoon after the Bossier City Council voted to put it to a halt for the time being.

The planned Walmart could possibly be located near the intersection of Airline Drive and Wemple Road just north of the Bossier City limits.

The Bossier City Council seemed to be going at lightning speed to welcome a new Walmart in North Bossier by annexing the land and being only one vote away from spending millions on the project.

Nearly 2,000 residents have signed a petition opposing the Walmart.

Kyle Sawyer lives near where a proposed Super Walmart may be built in North Bossier. He worries the store will bring down property values and increase traffic.

"I am worried about the quality of life in Bossier City," Sawyer told the council.

With unanimous votes, the Bossier City Council chose to undo decisions they made just two weeks ago surrounding the Walmart. They reversed their decision to absorb land into the city where the mega store may be built. The council also postponed a vote that would set aside $3.6 million for roads leading up to the business.

"I'm glad you pulled it off for right now," said Sawyer to the council after hearing about the changes.

But what happened within the past two weeks that has city leaders back tracking?

Bossier City Attorney Jimmy Hall said it's because they haven't received any official plans or paperwork from Walmart.

"The purpose of it is to go back and have some visual of what we are looking at, before we walk down that path," Hall advised the council.

Council member David Montgomery also cited the community backlash as a reason.

"There is cause for concern and we certainly want to take into account how Mr. Sawyer and those residents feel," he said.

Residents have flooded Police Jury President Jack "Bump" Skaggs with emails and phone calls.

"I have several community members that are not real happy about it,"said Skaggs, who explained he wants his constituents voices heard. "This is a unique situation, because the annexation was imposing on these neighborhoods, that are in the parish, but have no representation in the city."

Skaggs hopes down the road, the council will work with the jury on the issue.

"These guys have worked well with us in the past, I know we'll continue to work well on projects to make sure it is a good fit for everybody."

Overall Skaggs is satisfied with the city leader's actions Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm happy to see the city taking the steps to do the due diligence to make a good decision for everybody," he said.

"As Mr. Skaggs pointed out, we want to do everything we can to help our friends at the police jury, during the implementation of this business process," said Montgomery.

The Walmart protestors say they will organize their efforts and hope to prepare a well executed campaign for the zoning permit hearing.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission director said the zoning meeting addressing the Walmart may happen in November.

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