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Letter to the Editor: A former Spencer, Iowa resident discusses the Menards store in that town

Posted: Wed, Sep 12, 2018 2:18 PM

(Decorah resident Bob Puffer, a former Spencer, Iowa resident, has submitted the following Letter to the Editor):

"Menards wants to compare their proposed development in Decorah to how their being close to a Walmart store in Spencer has benefited all parties. I grew up in Spencer and return often. I can state with certainty the comparisons by Menards are erroneous:

--You can't see the Menards store from the Walmart store in Spencer.
--In 1974 Spencer had a population of around 10,000 with almost no shopping at the "South T".
--In 2018 Spencer now has a population around 11,000--not much growth in over 40 years, but shopping at the "South T" has burgeoned.
--11,000 people is twice the population of Decorah if you eliminate college students (Spencer has no college population), who are quite unlikely to visit Menards frequently.
--Google maps wants to say it's a 3-minute journey between the Walmart and Menards in Spencer but in fact it's more like 8 to 10 minutes because 90 percent of Spencer's shopping is now concentrated at the "South T" where Walmart and Menards are located and traffic is always busier throughout any time of day.
--Conversely, it REALLY does only take 3 minutes to travel from Walmart to the alternate area proposed for Menards in Decorah... across from the airport."