BELFAST, Maine – After spending months revising its zoning laws to accommodate a Wal-Mart Supercenter, city officials are concerned that the company may have turned its gaze elsewhere.

City Manager Joseph Slocum said Tuesday that recent discussions with representatives of the retail giant left him with the impression that the company was “lukewarm warm” about bringing a store to Belfast. He said that while the firm indicated it was still interested in Belfast as a store location, a specific project was not on the drawing board.

Slocum said his observation was far different from when city officials met with the Wal-Mart team this past summer. At that time they were told the company was strongly committed to the city.

“They are not being very specific. When we met with them face to face they were very specific. … They didn’t equivocate at all in June,” Slocum said. “I do not have any sense that Wal-Mart is actively pursuing this and I don’t have any sense that they are not. They clearly gave us the indication they were interested in Belfast [during June].”

Slocum said the council and city planning office invested a lot of time in changing the zoning and that “if it’s all for naught, that’s unfortunate. I do think it’s fair for the council and community to realize that there are things outside of Belfast that affect us. If they have changed their retail strategy, there’s not much we can do about it.”

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