WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM)-- Protesters filled the Whitehall Township planning commission meeting Wednesday night to speak out against Walmart's proposed super store.
"It is the sure death of any main street," says opponent Shirley Draft. "Whitehall-Montague will have a slow, agonizing death, for sure."
To accommodate the especially large audience, Wednesday's meeting was moved to the auditorium in Whitehall High School.
Representatives from Walmart unveiled renderings of the proposed store, which be located at the Holton-Whitehall Road interchange of U.S. 31. The super store would offer general merchandise, automotive services and groceries, and resemble the other 90 Walmarts in Michigan.
"We don't need one," says opponent Debra Lambers. "A small town can't support that. We have businesses that have been here for years. Almost every business in White Lake is locally owned."
"Walmart uses its monopoly power to drain resources and drive out mom and pop stores," adds opponent Oscar Kent. "In the long run, it's not beneficial."
Although Walmart is a big company, members of "Back off Walmart, Not Our Town" say it is not invincible and other communities have successfully blocked new stores.