Cheektowaga residents address concerns regarding Walmart Supercenter
BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | October 31, 2012
“I live right behind the unloading docks and I’m worried about the clanging of the trucks, the beeping that they make, and the hours that they are delivering,” said Cheektowaga resident, Joan Dudek.
Dudek and various other residents had the opportunity to express their concerns to Bergmann Associates and Walmart representatives Monday at an open house, held at the Private Leonard Post VFW, Walden Avenue. Dudek is nervous that she and her husband will not be able to get a good nights rest, once the new Walmart Supercenter comes to town.
“What we submitted to the town is well below the code,” said James Basile, Bergmann Associates. “The building itself is protecting the residents that’s one thing. The other thing is we are proposing a berm, with a fence on top of it, so those two things combined, reduce the noise.”
Another concern on the minds of residents is traffic, which is sure to increase on Walden Avenue once the Walmart is put in place.
“It’s one of the main ways that I can get in and out of town,” said Local resident Teresa Switek. “And on Saturday and Sunday when they have the Super Flea it’s so crazy busy. You don’t even want to be on this road, but yet it’s one of the ones I have to use a lot. So I’m concerned about there not being enough traffic lights, and I’m also concerned about the buses, there’s gonna be a lot of buses and pollution.”
Jamie Elmer, representative of Bergmann Associates said they are planning a traffic signal for the east side of the site but it has to get passed through the DOT first.
“We went through a full study based on NYS DOT standards and a signal is certainly proposed, and needed to handle all the traffic,” said Elmer.
Bergmann Associates also stated that Benderson Development is in the process of managing the rat problem at the Super Flea. Since Walmart does not own the space yet, Benderson is in charge of keeping a handle on the issue.
“Once we get to the point when the project is approved and we can move to the next step, which would be demolishing the building; the tenants would have to vacate and then they can do a better job of managing that problem before they actually tear the building down, and I think that’s what residents want us to do,” said Mark Petroski, Benderson Associates.
Although what is going to happen to the Super Flea once it is demolished? Will it go somewhere else? What will be of those who have relied on the market for years? These are questions that have been left unanswered for residents.
“They don’t have definite plans of what they are going to do with the flea market,” said Super Flea shopper, Jamie Pop. “I’m concerned about that. There are a lot of people who depend on it. I really think they should have residents vote on this.”
“I just wish they would leave the flea market where it is because to lose that would be tragic,” said Super Flea shopper Charles Furoy. “I never had a problem with Walmart, I just wish it would be put somewhere else.”
The town and Walmart still have more discussions ahead before the proposed project is finalized.