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Business and the Economy
News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Petition Submitted Seeking Reversal of Springfield Walmart Decision

KSMU File photo
Walmart Neighborhood Market on S. Glenstone Ave/Credit: Scott Harvey

Two weeks after a Springfield citizens' taskforce vowed to repeal a recent city council decision to bring in a new Walmart, the group has submitted their referendum petition. KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports.

Earlier this month, an organization called Stand up to Walmart began circulating the petition. On Monday, two days before deadline, they presented more than 2,000 signatures to the Springfield City Clerk’s office for certification, according to a release by the group. The referendum petition aims to reverse the city council’s Feb. 25 approval, by a 5-4 vote, to rezone property at Grand Street and Campbell Avenue that allows for the construction of a new Neighborhood Market.

City Clerk Brenda Cirtin confirmed that her office did receive the signatures Monday, and says they’ll have 20 days to verify the names listed.

“We’ll begin the process of certifying and checking the signatures against the voter registration list to ensure that they are in fact registered voters that reside in the city limits of Springfield. If there is sufficient signatures, we will prepare the certification to the city council,” Cirtin said.

To prove valid, the petition needs to account for at least 10 percent of registered voters from the last municipal election, which in this case is 1,787 signatures.

Brian Netzer, a petition gatherer for Stand up to Walmart, says in the release that “People signed the petition because they were concerned about the traffic, pedestrian safety, the zoning process, the size, design, and location of the development, and concerns about one business monopolizing the marketplace.”

If the group is found to have enough signatures, the city council can either repeal the ordinance or send before the public, which could be voted on Aug. 6 at the earliest.