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Measure B shot down by two-to-one vote in Calexico

March 06, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The $140,000 plus that Wal-Mart Inc. spent on the "No on Measure B" campaign turned out to be money well spent.

Calexicans voted by a two-to-one ratio to shoot down a city measure that would have kept the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer from opening a Super Wal-Mart in the city limits.

The unofficial tally: "No on B" received 2,651 votes, or 65.75 percent. "Yes on B" received 1,381, or 34.25 percent.

Measure B would have reinforced the city's ordinance keeping retail stores larger than 150,000 square feet from devoting more than 7.5 percent of the floor space to groceries. The "no" vote means that ordinance will be scrubbed from the city's books.

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What happens next is murky.

Calexico Wal-Mart Manager Phil Aubry has said there are no immediate plans to expand to another location but if Wal-Mart Inc. decides to do so, the question of what happens to the existing Wal-Mart building will be brought up.

Proponents of Measure B argued that Wal-Mart would move to new digs and leave the old location a hollow "big box" and that a Super Wal-Mart would devastate local grocers.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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