(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by John Carver of Decorah):
"It appears Menards is in Decorah's news at least for the time being. They have 305 stores with a revenue of $8.7 billion (Dec 2015). It seems mildly incredible they want to locate in this small town.
Corporations have a 'give you lots of information' that appears hard to avoid. 'The Menard's store will be expected to produce $30 million in annual sales, increase property taxes, and create 150 new jobs at the store,' says the application to the City of Decorah. Cases like Apple, Amazon, IBM, and the like are famous for making cities compete with each other on offers that end up benefiting the company. This does not appear to be a competitive bid with other cities but it's not too far removed.
Decorah already has three hardware stores and two lumber yards. Competition is good to a point but adding this to the mix is upsetting. Yes, we survived Walmart to a certain degree, but it had hardships on many.
One last comment. The firm has submitted a request to rezone the property from "floodplain" to "highway commercial." However, before that request can be approved, the Board of Adjustment must approve a variance and the Iowa DNR must issue a permit to have the floodplain filled in. Decorah and the flood plain go together. Adjusting it causes predictable changes. A good 6-inch to 12-inch rain will be a wake up call. The city must look ahead on this, period."