Lamont residents react to Walmart Project

County supervisors will consider a contract tonight to begin an environmental impact report of building a new Walmart in Lamont. While the project is still in the beginning stages, local residents are both excited and concerned about the potential impact a big box store could have on the area.
LAMONT, CA - County supervisors will consider a contract tonight to begin an environmental impact report of building a new Walmart in Lamont. While the project is still in the beginning stages, local residents are both excited and concerned about the potential impact a big box store could have on the area.

The Kern County Planning and Community Development Department is expected to recommend approval of the contract. Although this is one of many hurdles to overcome before the store is approved, Lamont residents are talking about the possibility of a new Walmart in their town.

Bertha Davila has worked at the County Fair Market in Lamont for 13 years. "I look forward to coming to work here every morning," she said.

Davila says business has slowed down as new stores pop up in the area.

"We used to be very busy but as new stores come in they take away from business," said Davila. She's worried the store would lose even more business if a new Walmart is built in Lamont.

"Probably close the store, lose my job, have to go somewhere else," said Davila.

While Davila opposes a new Walmart, others see it as a good thing.

"I think it's a great idea. Not only will it generate business, but generates work," said Juan Hernandez who manages The Fitness Center next to the proposed Walmart site. He says it would bring in more business to the gym. "It would create a lot more traffic. We'd be on the spotlight for the next years to come," he said.

While the future of the site is still uncertain, local workers say it will definitely have an impact on other businesses, one way or another.

"If this Walmart comes in, [the County Fair Market] will definitely shut down along with a lot of businesses along here," said Davila.

"As for the local economy here in this area, it'd be a boom because it'll create jobs," said Hernandez.

A Walmart spokesperson says a new store would bring 250 jobs to the area.
 
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