When Walmart announced late in 2013 that it planned to abandon its Glenwood store and set up shop two miles north on Halsted Street, Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld pledged to share sales tax revenues with Glenwood to help ease the neighboring village's financial pain.
Now the pledge has been formalized and approved by both village governments.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Homewood Board of Trustees unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement that includes sharing 10 percent of sales tax revenue generated by Walmart. The agreement is contingent on Walmart actually making the move, and it will continue for three years after the company opens for business at the Homewood location.
Glenwood trustees approved the agreement on July 5.
Walmart began remodeling the former Kmart building at 175th and Halsted streets early this past spring and is expected to open the store in October.
"It's being a good neighbor, doing the right thing," Hofeld said, thanking the board for its approval.
Glenwood Mayor Ronald Gardiner thanked Hofeld, Village Manager Jim Marino and Village Attorney Chris Cummings for their work developing the agreement.
"Walmart moving to the village of Homewood does have an impact on the village of Glenwood," he said. "It's going to have an effect on our budget, and this will soften that impact."
The shared revenue is not a gift, however.
In return, Homewood will receive an easement along a portion of Holbrook Road that would enable the village to build a 36-inch water main if it ever decides to seek an alternate source of water.
Currently, Homewood buys water from Harvey. Hofeld said a switch to another source is not being pursued right now, but the easement gives the village an option.
"The village is not just turning over 10 percent of the tax revenue," Cummings said. "This gives the village an option if we chose an alternate source in the next 20 years. It's being a good neighbor, but the village is also getting something in return."
Walmart signed a long-term lease for the former Kmart building shortly after the Kmart store closed.
Homewood officials have said the village did not court Walmart and rebuffed several requests by the retail giant for tax incentives.
The board finally agreed to support a Cook County Class 8 property tax abatement designation for Walmart last year after village officials said the company threatened to leave the Kmart building vacant.