Wal-Mart Annexation Approved in Rockton

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In a move people believe will either crush Rockton's small town intimacy or bring in big city type dollars, Rockton Village leaders approve a Wal-Mart and new residential and commercial development nearby the store.

Tuesday night, Village leaders approved a 33-acre annexation agreement with Wal-Mart. The land is being sold by a farming family who has owned the land for generations.

Wal-Mart has not purchased the land, but if they go ahead as planned, construction could start on Rockton Road and Highway 251 this August, and be completed next summer.

Also in the same area, Rockton trustees approved 155 acres of single-family homes, condos and commercial retail, news residents living nearby the site didn't want to hear

As expected, the decision unleashed a difference of opinion.

"Wal-Mart will be out towards a larger highway and I don't think it will have a traffic impact down here. I think the Village atmosphere will be maintained, along with the specialty shops," Jim Stevens said.

"Money. It's that simple. If they really cared about us, they would be protecting us. I don't see anybody at all. All I see is them listening to lawyers and money. That's pretty much it," Dave Kissick said.

Rockton Village Trustees put off a sales tax development agreement with Wal-Mart until its June 21 meeting. That agreement would decide how much Wal-Mart would pay in infrastructure improvements, should the retailer purchase the land.