Wal-Mart sent six representatives over the New Hampshire state line into Vermont looking for help with their septic problems. But their plea for a septic rescue got stuck in the pipeline. It seems that the Wal-Mart in Hinsdale,NH has been having septic problems almost since day one. The store is located just across the bridge from downtown Brattleboro, VT, which has a classic New England downtown. So when Wal-Mart came to Brattleboro Oct. 20th. seeking Selectmen’s support to hook up to the town’s sewer line, the town officials thought the idea, er, smelled. “We’re losing a lot of money to you people on the other side (of the river), Brattleboro Selectman Daryl Pillsbury told Wal-Mart. “I want to protect the business community.” Wal-Mart plaintively described how their septic system at the Hinsdale store just wasn’t able to handle the flow anymore. “We have sustained a failure to our septic system,” Wal-Mart’s maintenance chief said. “We called in our engineers and did some studies, and they advised that the best, most sound remedy was a tie-in to Brattleboro’s system.” But Selectmen didn’t seem ready to tie-in with Wal-Mart. After all, Wal-Mart showed little concern from Brattleboro business when they moved across the river just a couple miles outside of town. Wal-Mart wants to pipe 3.7 million gallons of sewage a year into Brattleboro. Wal-Mart’s lawyer, sensing the Board’s opposition to the idea, tried to sweeten the pot. According to the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper, the company lawyer asked the Board if money might make the proposal more palatable. “Speaking for myself,” said Selectman Chairman Robert Fagleson, “you couldn’t afford it.” The idea of running a sewage pipe over the Connecticut River along the bridge just didn’t sit well. “I had my doubts the store could be served by an on-site system,” concluded Selectman Charlie Miller. “It’s (Wal-Mart’s) engineer’s fault. It’s their mess to clean up. The system started failing shortly after the store opened.” Wal-Mart noted that their most recent problems were worsened when someone dumped a 55 gallon drum of used motor oil into their septic system. Selectmen Greg Worden summed it up: “A number of people I’ve talked to are emphataic about denying this. Wal-Mart’s been a good neighbor off andon, but with the amount of money flowing back to Arkansas, it would take a lot from Wal-Mart to get this going.” The Board took no action on Wal-Mart’s request, leaving the world’s biggest retailer with a smelly problem right where they live.
Letters to the Editor congratulating the Board of Selectmen for realizing that Wal-Mart gets the cash and now wants Brattleboro to get the trash, can write to: Letters to the Editor, The Brattleboro Reformer, Box 802, Brattleboro, VT 05302. You can fax your letter to: 802-257-1305. Tell Brattleboro to let Wal-Mart handle its own sewage. With the money Wal-Mart has, they can fly their effluent back to Bentonville — first class.