DERBY – Local Walmart proponents are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel on getting their very own big box store.
“Everything is squared away,” said Sen. Robert Starr of North Troy.
Walmart and property owner Jeff Davis of Burlington are happy, Starr said.
Starr is organizing a formal announcement for sometime in early to mid-January. Local and state officials will take part in the announcement, which will most likely take place on the Newport-Derby line.
"Hopefully, it will keep money from going to New Hampshire,” Starr said.
Many area residents now travel to Walmart stores in Littleton NH, Whitefield, NH, and Williston, VT. All three stores are 60 to 90-minutes away. Walmart has stores in Magog and Sherbrooke, Quebec, but prices tend to be higher and taxes are high across the border.
Starr hopes the store will encourage shoppers from the Eastern Townships of Quebec to shop at the Derby Walmart.
“The more people you bring in, the more they spread their money around,” said Starr. “They just don’t shop at Walmart, they stop at other stores, too.”
When contacted Friday, Davis said he wasn’t authorized to comment about the project.
Before anything happens, project officials have to go through the permit process, which will most likely start the first of the year. If there isn’t much opposition, project officials could break ground sometime next fall. Construction will take about two years to complete.
The site for the 130,000 square feet super store is along the Newport-Derby Road. The site is probably not large enough for an additional commercial businesses, but there are other properties for sale along the Derby Road corridor where other development could take place.