Carper also said putting a store at the site could threaten West Virginia's Air and Army National Guard facilities along Coonskin Drive. Federal officials might shut down the 130th Airlift Wing and the National Guard unless security concerns are addressed by closing off Coonskin Drive and building a new bridge across the Elk River in Mink Shoals to provide access to Coonskin Park.
The county planning department already has suggested one alternate site for a Walmart, a 110-acre tract of land in Mink Shoals owned by the O.V. Smith family. However, the site, located on a hill overlooking Interstate 79, might be too steep to be a suitable location for a retail store.
Carper said he will ask planning officials to get together with officials from the Charleston Area Alliance to scout out other possible sites in the county for a Walmart store.
"We've had some studies done of different [business] locations around the area," said Charleston Area Alliance President Matt Ballard.
He said Walmart executives probably have a good idea about how much space they need and what kind of access will be required to build a store. "Every company has different criteria for what they need," Ballard said. "They will know what they want."
Ballard said the Elkview interchange of Interstate 79 might make a good location for a Walmart. So might undeveloped land off the Clendenin exit.
"That interchange really needs something to connect it back to the community," Ballard said.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.