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County: Wal-Mart to create 400 jobs

County officials said Monday that early estimates show that an East Albany Wal-Mart currently under construction could create more than 400 jobs when it opens in 2011.

County officials said Monday that early estimates show that an East Albany Wal-Mart currently under construction could create more than 400 jobs when it opens in 2011.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County officials say the new Wal-Mart Supercenter under construction in East Albany could create more than 400 new jobs for the area.

The projection was given after some county commissioners sought information about the impact of a new retail complex.

County Administrator Richard Crowdis provided the information, which was originally developed by planning and development staff earlier this year.

According to those estimates, the center could create between 400 and 500 jobs and generate more than $2.2 million annually in sales taxes, once it opens in 2011.

"Well, we've known that this was going to be a great opportunity for the people of Albany and Dougherty County and 400 jobs is something that is deeply needed right now," Chairman Jeff Sinyard said. "We never quit, we never gave up and we never stopped and here it is coming to fruition."

Property taxes generated by the property will go into the Tax Allocation District which covers much of downtown Albany and part of East Albany.

The funds generated by the TAD will go to revitalize the area within the TAD.

While the creation of the new jobs is a positive for the community, as many as 90 jobs could be lost through the shuttering of mom-and-pop retail and grocery stores throughout the city as customers take advantage of Wal-Mart items.

According to Wal-Mart's corporate website, as of July 2010 there were 130 Supercenters, six discount stores, 22 Sam's Clubs and six distribution centers in Georgia.

The number of Wal-Mart associates in Georgia tops 52,500, with each full-time hourly associate earning an average of $12.04 per hour.

In the fiscal year ending July 30, 2010, Wal-Mart spent more than $9.9 billion for merchandise and services through 1,852 suppliers in Georgia.

The company has also paid $506.7 million in sales taxes during the last fiscal year and more than $68.5 million in state and local taxes.