WAL*MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE -- SCREENCAP GALLERY
BROOKFIELD, CITY HALL.
[Dee Esry] "Wal-Mart's coming in and running us out. We know you helped them, or gave them tax abatements, will you give us a tax abatement?" And no, they couldn't do that. So the county nor the city would do that. And of course, everybody knew it was unfair, but what can you do about it? Maybe there's nothing you can do about it.
[Ernest Esry] On sewer, water, any of that stuff, as far as I know we never received one dime from the city, county, or any place like that.
[Richard Techau, Mayor of Brookfield, MO] If you tell them that you don't want them in your city limits, there would be nothing to stop them from buying five acres out here outside the city limits, plopping their building down, hooking up to rural water, and having all of the negative effects on the city and none of the positive effects.
[Red Esry] They have a supercenter in Cameron, and it took about 40% of our business in Cameron. And about 1/3 of our business here in Hamilton. In Brookfield, it took over 50% of our business, just overnight.
[Dee Esry] It's really hard to make those payments with the wholesalers having problems themselves. So everything just kind of culminated in everybody having problems. To pay the employees, we used cash from the inventory, and then you didn't have any inventory.
[Ernest Esry] In the process of all this, I had to borrow money to put in the stores with the farm as collateral.
[Red Esry] It went down from there. So we had no recourse but to just close 'em up. And it was 40 years of hard work that seemed to disappear all at once. It wasn't a very easy thing to adjust to.