Menards Blames Obama For Decision to Pull Plug on O'Fallon Site

The home-improvement chain recently withdrew plans to build a new store on the Lake Saint Louis-O'Fallon border.

The Suburban Journals reported Monday that a Menard's spokesman has blamed President Obama and his administration for Menard's decision to pull the plug on plans to build a new store in O'Fallon on Hwy. N south of I-64.

The development would have straddled the O'Fallon-Lake Saint Louis border, with the Menard's store itself in O'Fallon, but part of the parking lot and outlot businesses in Lake Saint Louis.

The Journal quoted an email from Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott: "I'm very sorry, but we are a family owned business and with the Obama Administration scaring the dickens out of all small businesses in the USA at present, we have decided not to risk expansion until things are more settled."

Patch reported Dec. 6 that documents were included in the agenda packet for that evening's meeting of the O'Fallon Planning and Zoning Commission to to withdraw the applications for the conditional use permit, site plan and rezoning for the project.

A St. Peters Menards store is being constructed on Spencer Road just south of I-70 and plans to open in the spring of 2013.


  • Menards No Longer Plans to Build in O'Fallon
Chad Groharing December 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Didn't they start building in St. Charles Co. before Obama's re-election? Poor excuse, Menard's.
Don Wells December 11, 2012 at 01:03 PM
The other side is still blaming George Bush for everything, everyone needs somebody, lol.
Cheryl Hibbeler December 11, 2012 at 02:16 PM
This has nothing to do with Obama, and to believe this idiotic company's statement is to say you all believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny. This is just just a company not getting what it wanted from the local community and deciding to use politics rather than its own poor management decision. Please, they are just trying to trump up sympathy to get OFallon to put up some tax abatement options or TIF money. Businesses today are not like they used to be, they have grown accustomed to putting all the risk on the local governments and all the profits in their pockets. Corporate welfare (local, state, federal) has now surpassed the cost of social welfare (food stamps, aid to dependent children). This is just one more reason that I will bypass a Menard's store to shop at a locally owned actual SMALL business. Buy locally and stop the tax abatement and TIF bidding wars.
Don Staten December 11, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Alleluia. Great response Cheryl!
Steve Ridling December 11, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Well said Cheryl. Me too.
Devon Seddon December 11, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Obama IS partially responsible for making it harder & harder to do business in this country. Pretending he isn't (& doesn't want to further these hinderances) is simply not understanding what's going on. It's like when people blamed Bush for gas prices, yet when their party got in & gas nearly doubled, they never said a word. It all of the sudden, it wasn't the President's fault. Just so you know, the assumption that business "puts all of the risk on government & all the profits in their pockets", is a short-sighted, misinformed, distraction. First, POLITICIANS have created the TIF environment, THEY control TIFs, not businesses. Second, the United States of America has the largest corporate tax-rate in the world, with a push by the short-sighted to take more. Like it or not, GOVERNMENT is the reason businesses are: going out of business, leaving the country, or not opening a store when they otherwise would have. This isn't some big business trick. It's what you're supposed to think so you don't see or understand this administrations' literal attack on business & industry. Government is responsible for the current reduction in the amount of business being done in this country. This same party sold loans to these businesses that they knew were worthless, then bailed-out only SOME of those investors. Merryl Lynch & Bear Stearnes were cut loose, but Goldmann-Sachs was bailed-out. Same with insurance companies not named AIG. Business didn't do this, your government did.
Jeff Thompson December 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
"I'm very sorry, but we are a family owned business and with the Obama Administration scaring the dickens out of all small businesses in the USA at present, we have decided not to risk expansion until things are more settled---- small businesses????? Menards is a multi-billion dollar enterprise--the farthest thing from a small business!!!! Insane!
Devon Seddon December 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
PS - What risk is there exactly for a local government when a new business opens-up? How do they have more risk than that business who is adding a location? They don't. It's additional income for that government, along with additional jobs (meaning more people paying taxes & fewer needing government aide). That's the very reason they offer TIF's. Whether they or you realize it or not, the company still takes all the risk, pays for construction, etc. - government sees nothing but benefit from an added business. That's where TIFs came from; local & state governments competing to get businesses to choose their area over another... for tax dollars - revenue. There's zero risk for government. None. Only benefit. This government is not a victim. They are the cause, so just stop.
Jim Frain December 11, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Perfectly stated Cheryl...Their original statement to O'Fallon was that there were expenses with excavation, and other unforseen costs that they had not expected and that is why they were backing out for now. Their spokesman is just passing this on so that when they come back to entice O'Fallon they can beg for TIF's, etc.,...We have plenty of great stores in O'Fallon to purchase every product carried by Menard's There are many locally owned small businesses that will happily meet all of our needs...Shop Locally!
Steve Blechle December 11, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Some times people are sincere when they say “Buy locally and stop the tax abatement and TIF bidding wars.” Others, while holding elected office support 48 million dollar TIF wholesale redevelopment projects aimed at removing over 100 of the small businesses they claim to support.
Shirlynn December 12, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Well said Steve and Cheryl! Menards is making excuses for their own poor planning. Menards is no small business. I live in Minnesota, they have had many stores here for over 30 years and have been expanding. Their main problem is Lowes moving into the area in MN! They call it free market competition; capitalism.
curly December 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
History repeats itself folks.........this economy will have to brake before it can rebuild and get better. No sense in blaming just 1 person. As far as Menard's goes......who cares, do we really need another big greedy company in this area?????????
PMS December 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM
No Curly we do not. I can't even stand to drive down Hwy K. I only shop on the North side of town in O'Fallon or I take my buissness to St. Peter's or Wentzville. As far as Menards goes I won't be shopping there at that SMALL buissness either just because of their stupid statement.
Steve Blechle December 14, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Devon Seddon. That is NOT why TIF was conceived. TIF was designed for urban renewal not successful economic areas like O'Fallon. 1st lie, TIF revenue bonds won’t cost anything because bond debt is paid out of TIF revenues. Revenue bonds have higher interest than voter approved GO bonds because revenue bonds are ONLY secured by project revenues not by the “full faith and credit” of the issuing government. Revenue bonds have a higher chance of default from mismanagement - failure of the revenue source. 2nd lie is that revenue bond obligations do “not constitute indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional, statutory or charter debt limitation or restriction.” If the city defaults on revenue bonds our bond rating plunges to junk bond status. In the future, even our GO bonds will carry a high interest rate; that’s the punishment the marketplace doles out to cities who default on their bonds. A Missouri State audit on O'Fallon (2003) agrees with this statement. Missouri’s TIF law has been abused by developers to leverage public taxes for private development. There are no rules for “blight”; they are whatever local politicians say they say they are. They can mean one thing this year and something else in five years. The truth is that there TIF “it-is-whatever- we-say-it-is" power protects no one but the city and their chosen developers. I am wondering how many folks posting here, stating this has nothing to do with Obama own a business.


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