The room suddenly erupted with cheers and loud claps following Galt City Council's unanimous vote to pass two agenda items that move the city one step closer to getting its own Walmart.
The approval to deny an appeal from a local group opposed to the project, as well as the approval to recertify a report on how the store would affect the proposed building area, comes after nearly four years of legal battles that have divided community members.
Only two members of the opposition group Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning were in attendance at Tuesday's meeting, along with their lawyer.
But roughly 25 people in support of the Walmart project sat anxiously to hear the council's final votes.
"We need the jobs, we need the revenue and I think the Walmart could help (keep) the town from going bankrupt," said Galt resident Jimmie Hollingsworth. "This (debate) has gone on long enough."
Angie Stoner, a Walmart spokesperson, said a Walmart in Galt could bring approximately 300 jobs to the community — and all those hired would be directly from Galt or the surrounding area.
Once the reports are approved by the court, she added, building the Walmart would only take 10 to 12 months, meaning Galt residents could start generating revenue for their city sooner rather than later.
Chris Erias, Galt's senior planner, gave a detailed presentation to the council prior to council members submitting their votes in favor of moving the project forward.
In his presentation, Erias detailed the roughly four-year history of the project, including the numerous times the project had been halted to address legal issues brought forth by the Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning.
Though the group filed a lawsuit against the city two years ago, most of their concerns were thrown out by the judge except for noise issues, which were further investigated and resubmitted in a revised environmental impact report in June.
Despite further analysis, however, the report still contained inaccuracies that did not properly reflect possible noise problems community members who live behind the proposed Walmart space would face, the group's lawyer, William Kopper, said at the meeting.
According to Kopper, the testing conducted to determine noise levels was again executed inappropriately and as a result, the city did not have an accurate portrayal of how loud it could be when forklifts moved various items such as sod, food or wood.
The proposed wall that would be built to keep noise out from the senior citizen community located behind the propsed store on Twin Cities Road and Fermoy Way would not be enough, Kopper said.
"The study is defective, and the idea that a barrier could be used to keep noise out defies common sense as well as acoustical rule," he said.
But those who addressed the council and the community members in attendance at the meeting Tuesday night said noise should be the least of anyone's conerns.
Galt resident Al Baldwin said Walmart would be "the most positive thing that could happen to Galt." While he "appreciated" the lawyer's concern regarding noise, Baldwin said people in Galt would be more likely to hear train whistles from locomotives passing through town than forklifts that beeped when moving merchandise.
Stella Post, who lives behind the Rite Aid on Twin Cities Road, said bringing a Walmart to Galt would be the best way to "serve the community."
"All our money is going to other communities ... and I think instead of sending all our money out of town, we need to meet the needs of people right here," she said. "There is nothing offered in Galt, and it's a shame we always have to go out of town. We need to support this city as much as we can."
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.