ELLISVILLE, Missouri (KMOV) – Residents of an Ellisville apartment complex are putting up a fight after city council members passed a tax increment to help pay for a new Walmart to be built on their lot.
The Clarkchester Apartment residents are organizing a recall effort against the city council members who voted in favor of granting tax breaks for the new development. The new Walmart is set to be located at Clarkson and Manchester.
One resident believes, "City Council, the mayor, they work for us. So we should have a right to do our speech. Say what we want.. Right now we are being heard. They may not be listening, but we are being heard."
The group hopes to gather enough petitions to recall two of the five council members who voted for the project. Those members’ terms are set to expire in 2013.
The apartment residents plan to meet on Thursday night to discuss the recall.
On Wednesday night the Ellisville City Council passed Tax Increment Financing for the project. The Sansone Group is developing the project to bring in the Walmart and will also benefit from the TIF.
Dozens of residents made passionate comments at the council meeting. Many spoke out against the TIF saying that a Billion dollar company like Walmart doesn't need financial assistance. Many others spoke in favor of the TIF saying Walmart is a much needed anchor store for Ellisville that will benefit all residents and boost the economy.
As part of the project the Clarkchester Apartments will be torn down. That means 250 people will have to move. The city of Ellisville will give each family $1000 for the move.
"I'm sick," said Bones Baker, a Clarkchester resident. "I'm a single parent. I looked today to find affordable living in the school district where my son has gone, Rockwood. And the closest place I could find is half the size and $900 a month."
The measure easily passed by a vote of 5 to 2. Mayor Adam Paul ran his for office opposing the deal. And he made his disdain for the TIF known before and after the vote.
"Shame on you," Paul said to the council. That was echoed by chants of "shame" from the audience.