Walmart construction delayed

Construction of the planned King Walmart store may not start until early 2016, according to King Director of Planning and Inspections Todd Cox.

“The biggest delay has been the state and getting the soil and water erosion control permit,” said Cox, noting that the engineers for the project told him they had just gotten that required permit at the end of May. “It has taken six to eight weeks longer than it should have.”

Cox said engineers would now start the bidding process for grading the property.

“They hope that work will start this month,” said Cox. “Once the grading is done then the construction will start in the early winter or the first of the year.”

The project has faced a number of delays since city officials first learned that Walmart was interested in building a store in King.

Officials first confirmed the company was interested in the area in December 2013 and an initial public hearing for rezoning was scheduled for February 2014. That hearing was postponed several times, as Walmart worked out permitting with U.S. Corps of Engineers, before the city finally approved the rezoning request in December 2014.

Officials had initially hoped that construction on the new store would begin this spring with expectations that it may open before this year’s Christmas season.

Both King and Stokes County stand to gain considerable sales tax revenue increases when the store opens.

Cox said the proposed Walmart was estimated to provide an additional property tax revenue of $42,200 to $50,640 for King and $65,000 to $78,000 to the county each year. Estimated sales tax revenue for King would range from $59,000 to $74,000 each year for the city and $728,000 to $910,000 each year for the county. Cox said the store would also generate an estimated $2,200 in water fees and $3,900 in sewer fees each year.

The King City Council included funding in its 2015-16 budget to add an additional position to its police force starting in January 2016 to help handle expected additional calls the store may generate.

City Manager Homer Dearmin said the council would reevaluate the timing for the need for the position in January.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

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