CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A Conway City Council meeting started off on a controversial note Monday after several locals took a stance against a new grocery store being built in their neighborhood.
There were a lot of items on the agenda, including the city's look at a Hometown Economic Grant that would help pay for updates to the downtown river walk. However, just minutes into the meeting, another issue quickly hijacked the conversation.
"We have hundreds of names on petition because we wanted to carry the message if you will on behalf of our other residents throughout the Wild Wing Boulevard Corridor that we have some genuine concerns about safety and our quality of life." said one local who lives in Wild Wing Plantation.
The council chambers were filled Monday afternoon with locals protesting the city's decision to allow an Aldi's grocery store to move into the Wild Wing Plantation.
"You are our elected representatives. We pay taxes. We vote and we expect officials to effectively represent our best interests, not the interests of a German company, nor a North Carolina landowner when it is detrimental to our rights and interests." said another local standing before the council.
Residents from the Wild Wing community spoke against building the entrance to the store along the same entrance to the neighborhood, believing that the extra traffic could cause more accidents and lower property values. After taking up over 30 minutes, there was a counter argument from the landowner's representative.
"I have the deed in my hand that allows our seller to and from Wild Wing Boulevard." said the rep. "So all we're doing at this time is what we're allowed to do by law."
Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy told those in attendance that experts had studied the case, and agreed that the entrance to the store would be safer on Wild Wing Boulevard than on Highway 501. Those in the neighborhood left the meeting seemingly disappointed after the council ruled against making any change.
"Unless there is a desire of someone of the council, that decision has been made and will be the direction that we move in." said Blain-Bellamy.