Walgreens will have to wait.
The Brazil City Council voted to table Ordinance 16-2006 Tuesday, withholding final approval of the measure that would hand over a portion of an alley to the retail giant.
Council members unanimously agreed to table the ordinance-- which passed by a 5-0 vote on its first reading April 25-- after hearing the testimony of a homeowner who would be affected by the closing of a portion of the alley situated between U.S. 40 and Jackson Street. If the ordinance passes, the space will become part of the parking area for a new Walgreens store.
Betty Monce told the council a Walgreens representative had informed her of the retailer's plans to purchase her home at 524 E. Jackson Street to create more room for the store's parking area and allow for the routing of power lines to the building.
Since that initial conversation, Monce said she has been unable to secure a firm commitment from Walgreens regarding the purchase of her home, an idea she said she is willing to entertain.
"I have some questions and no one seems to have time to answer them from that company," she said. "I'm not against it. I just want to know."
If she remains in the home, Monce said she questions how the store will affect access to her residence, adding that she doesn't like the idea of living under the store's power lines.
"I want to know where the wiring's going-- because it's not going over my house-- and how I'm going to get out of my house," she said.
Monce's frustration was seconded by at least one other audience member at Tuesday's meeting, who, without identifying himself, said Walgreens had not been able to provide a "straight answer" when asked how the store would affect residents of the houses in its vicinity.
The Times reported April 26 that a representative of Peacock Lambert, LLC, the developer for Walgreens, had assured attendees at an April 25 public hearing on the issue that the store would not impede access to the alley.
Councilwoman Pat Heffner said she supports the Walgreens development-- but not at the expense of her constituents.
"I guess I'm just troubled by what's going on," she said. "These are tax-paying citizens of Brazil, and we represent them."
Mayor Tom Arthur said a Walgreens representative scheduled to appear at Tuesday's council session canceled shortly before the meeting began.
A representative will likely attend the May 23 council meeting to field questions like Monce's, Arthur said.
In the meantime, Heffner said she would examine the situation first-hand.