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Livingston ponders life after Wal-Mart

Next January, when the Livingston Wal-Mart closes its doors, the city’s tax revenue will likely suffer.

At their Monday meeting, Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt said he would like to work with the council to find new ways to generate a Revenue Enhancement Proposal.

“This is something that we need to look at and we will probably have a work session about it at our next meeting,” Tartt said. “We would like to look at an official plan to look at revenue for the city. We will take a hit when Wal-Mart closes and I think we all know that. Hopefully not long after the closing we will have some news about new businesses coming in to replace some of that revenue.”

Through the years, Wal-Mart has served as a major boost to the city’s economy. However, Tartt said, a lock of new businesses moving in coupled with rising expenses could hurt the city when the void is left.

“Over the years we have experienced a surplus,” Tartt said. “The last few years our revenue has been flat because of rising gas prices, the cost of our health insurance has doubled and the cost of our liability insurance has gone up. We need to look at some new areas to bring in revenue and that is what we will be discussing.”

During the meeting, Tartt also took time out to put a rumor to rest.

“There have been some rumors around town and it got back to us that Dr. Eleanor Ellery was in bad health and was going to retire,” Tartt said. “Of course, we are always trying to actively recruit doctors here, but she is doing fine and has no plans to retire.”

In other business, the council discussed bids for their Bored-well project. The council voted to award the project to low bidder Golden Enterprises LLC for $236.668. Tartt said the bidding price was about five percent less than they had expected.