LINCOLN - Lincoln will have a Super Wal-Mart.
The Lincoln City Council approved a new agreement with the retailer at Monday night's council meeting, reversing an earlier rejection.
The city will rebate Wal-Mart $585,000 in taxes over the next five years instead of $600,000. Wal-Mart moved the construction date up to March 2007.
City council members, along with local businesses and residents, had been vocal on both sides of the issue before Monday's meeting.
"Wal-Mart is going to end up with more than anyone else in this city. The quality of life will not be improved here by just bringing in minimum-wage jobs," said Alderman Benny Huskins, who voted against the development twice. "Bringing in a Wal-Mart is not bringing in quality jobs."
Aldermen voted 5-4 for the store at Monday. In November, the council had voted 5-4 against the development.
"Wal-Mart does not just bring in minimum wage jobs," said John Bisio of Wal-Mart Community Affairs. "It does a great job to serve as a catalyst for other businesses to build around the Supercenter that will then make Lincoln more attractive and more of a regional hub. It's a good deal for us, but a better deal for Lincoln."
No alderman switched sides Monday, but Alderman Martha Neitzel, who missed the November meeting, voted yes. On the other side, Alderman Jonette Tibbs, who voted no in November, missed the meeting Monday night.
"I want Lincoln to grow. And I welcome Super Wal-Mart and want it to come to this city," said Neitzel, "This development will increase the sales tax coming into Lincoln, which will only mean more improvements. We're on our way."
Even if Tibbs had attended and again voted against the project, Mayor Elizabeth Davis said she would have cast the deciding vote in favor of the development.
Davis said she already has seen a list of businesses interested in coming to Lincoln should the Super Wal-Mart come. She also said this new development would give many people in Lincoln opportunities.