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Too Good for Goodwill? Eureka Blocks Proposed Goodwill Store By Doing Nothing

Categories: Blowback, Politics

MERSGoodwillComo.JPG
MERS Goodwill
If Eureka ever does get a Goodwill store, this is what it will look like.
With silence and obtuse inaction, Eureka city government is preventing MERS Goodwill from opening a store in the town.

Goodwill officials say they've never experienced such a resounding-yet-mysterious refusal to their stores, which they say create jobs, bring shoppers to the area and support their mission to help the unemployed. Chief of staff Dave Kutchback says he hasn't seen a community reject Goodwill like this in the thirteen years he's been working there.

"They've been unwilling to give us a reason for not wanting (a store,)" Kutchback tells Daily RFT. "We directly asked for that reason, and the city attorney explained to us that they don't have to give us a reason for not approving the store."

Technically, the Eureka Board of Aldermen hasn't approved or rejected anything. Rather, the board just avoids the issue entirely by keeping it off the aldermanic agenda. When the bill to bring a Goodwill store to Eureka did make it on the agenda at the July 15 meeting, it died for a lack of motion.

See also: Big Changes Coming to the Mark Twain Hotel, Once a Safe Haven for City's Most Troubled

Eureka is "the only community that has decided not to respond to our request to have a store," Dawayne Barnett, Goodwill's chief financial officer, tells Daily RFT. "Right now, we have no idea what they want to do. We are waiting for them to make a motion to either assess the store and allow us to build or not assess the store."

It's not unheard of for a community to be trepidatious about a new Goodwill store opening. Kutchback says some municipalities are worried a new store will be an eyesore, but an artist rendering of the future building usually puts people at ease.

That's not the case here, although city officials are keeping silent about what the issue really is. According to Eureka-Pacific Current News Magazine, sources familiar with the situation say city officials don't want people who work or shop at a Goodwill store to come to Eureka.

"Eureka city officials are concerned about the type of people working in the stores and what type of people it brings into town," writes Current's publisher Michael Kircher.

At a board of aldermen meeting Tuesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch flat-out asked Alderman Bob Kee if Eureka is "too good" for a Goodwill.

"That's ludicrous," Kee responds. "My wife goes to Goodwill all the time."
Eureka residents, including a group who submitted a petition against the Goodwill at Tuesday's meeting, say they oppose the store because it doesn't pay taxes due to its non-profit status.

"We've heard from other sources, not the aldermen, that they are concerned that we don't pay sales tax and we don't pay real estate tax because all of our money is going back into our services," Kutchback says. Goodwill helps people with barriers to employment find jobs through career counseling, skills training, education and literacy programs, employment services and more.

Kutchback says a new Goodwill store could benefit the Eureka community in ways that are worth its tax-exempt status, starting by hiring at least 21 people to staff the store and paying more than $500,000 in salaries.

"Those are jobs in a community, and usually when someone earns money, they are spending it in their surrounding community," says Kutchback. ""We hire people that then have money in their hands to go out and buy stuff. That helps generate revenue for a community."

The 42 stores in the St. Louis metro area each bring in about 370 shoppers daily, generating traffic for surrounding businesses, Kutchback says. Eureka's neighbor Chesterfield has three Goodwill stores.

"It's not unusual for lots of retail developers" -- including those behind the new Walmart in Shrewsbury -- "to call us and want us to be a part of their development because they know that we are going to bring in shoppers to that retain that development," says Kutchback.

Goodwill will have another opportunity to plead its case at the next aldermanic meeting on August 19.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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102 comments
markie19
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Kelli Mayahi
Kelli Mayahi

MF Eureka, your shit stinky as anyone else. Betcha a few folks in your lil privy neighborhood will be some of the 1sr to benefit.

Scott Bringhurst
Scott Bringhurst

I often ask this of the managers at Goodwill. SIX DOLLARS FOR "WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS"?!?! ARE YOU DELUSIONAL?

Scott Bringhurst
Scott Bringhurst

As long as they don't start pricing their donated trash like it's an antique shop with notes showing how much some idiot is asking for the same piece of trash on eBay.

Sylvia Surratt Johnston
Sylvia Surratt Johnston

Goodwill helps to train special needs young people to become working, productive members of society which is a needed and honorable contribution to the world community. Yes they sell the donations that is how they support their services.

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

Mr Sullivan, your stereotypical hate speech only makes you look foolish, shame on you for your ignorant comments

Jon Jon
Jon Jon

I live in Eureka and have no issues with a goodwill store coming there, it's the proposed mining that has Eureka residents concerned, cover that story instead please

Mona Becker
Mona Becker

Hey Mark Sullivan- I live in Eureka, not all of us are red-neck peckerheads. That being said, I despise Tim Jones and how the catholic folks around here idolize him. Eureka has the most hillbilly Wal-Mart in St. Louis Co. A Goodwill store would be a step up.

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

Hmmm, Eureka, you mean the Haven for Redneck Trash? They really have outgrown their britches haven't they. Of course what else would you expect from a town that harbors the likes of Tim Jones, R Eureka, now there's a bonehead for you. If they really think they are above Goodwill, they need to look at their not so distant past.

Violet Jones
Violet Jones

Stupid and racist. Fuck those jobs that could be created. Ridiculous.

Norma Cole Sosko
Norma Cole Sosko

Goodwill has great stuff. Not sure why they are stopping it. Seems silly to me.

Bryan M Steiger Sr.
Bryan M Steiger Sr.

goodwill is hooked up with the govt. so they cant be all that good, but I have shoped at a few OUT OF NEED.. and they had good prices and quality goods. If you go to the rock hill store on manchester or the other one down in balwin on manchester, But they are govt enlisted to help ppl find jobs.. but it never happens. you have to go to job service in order to get food stamps and all it does is waste your time when you can be out looking for a job.,

Jenna Silva
Jenna Silva

What about Big Lots? That store is awesome. Haha.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Goodwill gives jobs to people....I like Goodwill.

Rodney Matheson
Rodney Matheson

good will is a "FOR PROFIT COMPANY"! DON'T GIVE THEM ANYTHING, ITEMS, MONEY ETC. THEY EVEN PAY SOME WORKERS LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE! LOOK IT UP.

James Harris
James Harris

@Angie Salvation Army gives back to the community as long as your community doesn't include gay people.

Angie McMichael Barrett
Angie McMichael Barrett

Goodwill don't give back to the community. They just sell their things way over priced. If you want to help out go to a Salvation Army. Not Goodwill

Scott Tyler
Scott Tyler

Maybe it would be acceptable if they named it something trendier ..... We call ours G.W.'s. Lol

Adam Hardebeck
Adam Hardebeck

Thanks for keeping us up to date on the important issues going on in our city RFT. You guys are doing a great job.

Kenneth Lane
Kenneth Lane

Eureka is obviously controlled bu someone who has a reason to not want a Goodwill store there---follow the money to discover the snake.

Monica Morgan Mifflin
Monica Morgan Mifflin

Good for Eureka! Goodwill is not the charity it tries to portray itself to be. There are other thrift stores that are true charities and offer items at much more reasonable prices that may be more affordable to people struggling financially. I do not donate to Goodwill anymore and encourage all my friends and family not to either. Whether you are donating or buying, I encourage you to look for other non-profit thrift stores.

Jill Blackwell
Jill Blackwell

$500,000/42=$11,000 each (approx) yeah, that's a little on the poverty side

Gina Marciano Mitauer
Gina Marciano Mitauer

They do not want the undesirables out in their neighborhood buying up their good stuff that they donate!! It happens in Ballwin!! The people that go in there are not from West County!!

Brian Conley
Brian Conley

Yea, Brian Williams did a special on Rock Center

Brian Conley
Brian Conley

Goodwill got away with paying disabled employees 52 cents an hour due to a loophole in the fed labor laws. They are a degenerate company.

Chris Chilton Wilson
Chris Chilton Wilson

Come on! What a bunch of shit! We have one in St Peters that I go to all the time and it's right in the middle of yuppy central! I think I might have to make a trip to Eureka! What a bunch of assholes!

Kristin Scudder
Kristin Scudder

"GOODwill"-LLMFAO. They don't do anything but line their own corporate pockets while paying some workers less than $2 per hour!!

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

$100,000 for conferences. Good work if you can get it lol

Jamie Hetherington
Jamie Hetherington

Umm welcome to the world of nonprofits. I'm a social worker. Goodwill is a not for profit. Their workers are receiving training. To get a good leadership staff, money is put forward.

Aaron Michael Hicks
Aaron Michael Hicks

Eureka seems the smart one goodwill is everything negative you're saying they throw most stuff away and rip you off and they do make a profit. i worked there.

Anita Clark
Anita Clark

Not to mention the 2 million dollar salary the CEO takes home every year! Goodwill poses as a non-profit, all the while, underpaying their employees and overpaying the corporate employees. Not the best organization out there. Do your homework!

Dahmen Piotraschke
Dahmen Piotraschke

Goodwill or MERS..does help people transitonalling from prison or joblessness. All thrift stores do same shit by taking the valuable items. Salvation army is same but expect u to change by extreme Christian indoctrination. Which eureka probably prefers.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Nothing against goodwill. Just getting the facts out.

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

That's definitely a scream! A locale where one can pick up a card at the local Hallmark store that says "Happy Birthday, Uncle Dad!" is barring Goodwill. Class act, I say. Class act! !

Jason Gerfers
Jason Gerfers

Lazy people love their labels. Eureka, hoosiers? There are some beautiful parts of Eureka with subdivisions full of $500,000 houses. Learn about an area before spewing your closed-minded ignorance.

Byron Hill
Byron Hill

What's seems relevant to this issue is how Eureka gets a new store while most that live on the west side goes without...

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