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Neighbors irked by Walmart DC, Who knew?

Whether a medical waste incinerator is located east of Macclenny or not will turn on many variables that are yet to be sorted out.

Maybe it’s safe; maybe it’s not. With all the regulatory agencies that have to pass muster on projects like these, and the fact that environmental regulation is the “new religion” of the 21st Century, it’s feasible the project would pose little threat to the surroundings if approved.

The parade of public hearings attached to a project like this is there for a reason. The public needs to be heard, as do the people who want to locate it here with the promise of “clean” industry and much-needed jobs.

What puzzled yours truly in the discussion so far was that people who live around Enterprise East at Trailridge are upset at the nearby Walmart Distribution Center.

Who knew?

Walmart DC has been here a decade, and unless yours truly is misinformed, it has been a resounding asset to Baker County. The jobs pay well, the operation is pollution-free, it’s been a boon to our tax base and from day one the management over there has been the most community conscious of any organization, private or public, in the county. Ever.

What am I missing here?


Several neighbors of the DC spoke up at a meeting last week on the proposed incinerator, not about that project but about how they’re irritated with the noise pollution from Walmart.

They can hear the outdoor intercom system, the “beep-beep” of backing trucks, and air brakes.

Not to say they aren’t sincere in their complaints, but where have they been? If those complaints have been voiced to Walmart, we can only assume they have been so privately. It’s not come up in any public forum that this writer is aware of.

Perhaps now the Walmart management will address these concerns; maybe tone down the outdoor intercom system a bit. There’s not much they can do about the “beep-beep” or the air brakes. If neighbors don’t like the “hiss” of trucks breaking, they’re not going to like the “blam” of trucks slamming into each other.

They probably won’t like the wailing of employees getting mowed down by backing vehicles that don’t have the “beep-beep” devices.

Had such objections been raised when Walmart was considering locating here [with plenty of competition from other communities that wanted  the distribution center], those neighbors would likely have been swallowed up by the sheer number of people who wanted the facility.

Little has changed in a decade.

If the Walmart DC has had an adverse effect on the area, it’s the truck traffic through downtown Macclenny — big rigs whose drivers are advised by their GPS systems to attempt turns at busy intersections like 5th and 6th Sts.

Yea, it’s a bit of a pain. But every time I’ve backed up at a stoplight (no “beep-beep” on my SUV!), I gladly do so. The reason?

Those trucks are going and coming from a facility that has been a great asset to Baker County. One that it’s hard to imagine not being here.

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