Some Blanchard business owners fight big box store proposal

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BLANCHARD, Okla. -- Debbie Ford has been the manager of a Blanchard pharmacy for 16 years.

She said they don't just help customers, they serve entire families, and have for generations.

"Everyone is family to us.”

The idea of a big box store coming to town is bad news for the store.

"We don't have the buying power that the big box stores have and so it would affect us."

City Manager Robert Floyd showed us the proposal for a Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) district -- a public financing method used to make improvements based on future tax revenue.

He said the vacant land in question should earn money.

"In Oklahoma, cities and towns strictly operate off of sales tax, and nothing else. So we have to have the businesses to provide police and the fire and the water and the sewer."

But State Senator and business owner, Rob Standridge is against any big box store coming in with the help of taxpayer funds.

"It’s just un-American for us to subsidize competition for the people that have built this community."

He said this TIF takes taxpayer money away that should be used for schools instead of improving the land to make it more appealing for a big box store.

"My passion is for those little guys that mortgage their homes, max out their credit cards; they do everything, and they risk everything so they can have the American dream of owning their own business."

But Floyd said under the proposal, 19 items, like streets lights are for public improvement, and everyone will benefit, so residents should not feel threatened.

"But if you go to Purcell, Oklahoma City, Norman, and Moore and look at what's around a Wal-Mart;  there are still other businesses that can compete with them."

The proposal will be discussed in next month’s city council meeting.

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