Holyoke residents with questions about a proposed Walmart in their city got their first chance to speak with executives from the company Monday night.
But they didn't get a warm welcome to their open house at the Log Cabin as dozens of protestors held signs rallying against the retail giant.
"It's people from all over the city saying not every project makes sense, and Walmart doesn't make sense," said Jason Garand with the local carpenter's union.
He and others here are worried about their own jobs and the future of smaller retail in the city.
"To watch a sea of pavement go next to a property that now loses its value makes no sense," Garand said.
"They're not going to help me, if anything they're going to hurt me. I'm going to have to pay more taxes to offset the people they don't take care of," said Charles Payne, who also opposes the idea.
Walmart wants to build a 160,000-square-foot facility on open land at Whiting Farms Road.
Walmart spokesperson Bill Wertz says he's confident once people learn more about the proposal, they'll open up to the idea.
"This is a project that will bring jobs and affordable shopping opportunities to the residents of Holyoke," he said at the open house Monday night.
According to Walmart sales records, Holyoke customers spent $11 million last year at Walmart stores in other towns.
"Many Holyoke residents shop at Walmart but they have to drive miles to do so," Wertz said.
Those who support the project say that money needs to come into the paper city.
"I say positively they should come because we need the taxes," said Holyoke resident and supporter of the project, Dick Desgres.
Walmart officials say they are continuing their plans and are in talks with Holyoke officials.
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