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County Fair to expand, add workers

The County Fair Food Store will announce a large expansion and renovation Wednesday that will also mean up to 30 new jobs.

A groundbreaking will be held at 4:30 p.m. on the west side of the South Side Plaza, 1305 West Havens. It will be renamed the County Fair Plaza. The groundbreaking is open to the public.

The expansion will provide a renovated exterior on the entire plaza and, within County Fair Food Store, more product options and services, an additional 10,000 square feet and the hiring of approximately 30 more employees, according to a County Fair news release.

The extensive remodel will also create a more energy efficient building.

County Fair is committed to sustainability and environmental awareness, the company said. With the purchase of new equipment, lighting, flooring, ventilation and heating and cooling systems, the company continues to strive for sustainable design and energy-efficient equipment.

"We are thankful to all our customers for their business over the last 27 years," said John Clarke, president of County Fair Food Stores.

"This expansion will broaden their choice of products and services in a modern, updated facility," Clarke said. "We also want to thank all our associates for their efforts over the years. Our associates have allowed us to be in business for 27 years."

Plaza tenants Damon's Barber Shop, Wayne and Mary's Nutrition Center, Center for Healthy Living, Dakota Physical Therapy and Dairy Queen will remain, and the Goodwill store will be relocated elsewhere in the Plaza to make room for the County Fair expansion.

The construction, led by Puetz Corp., of Mitchell, will begin immediately on the exterior and is expected to be completed by spring 2012.

"Mary and I are very excited about the remodel and addition of County Fair and the new building being built for Goodwill," said Wayne Puetz, owner of Puetz Corp.

"The entire development will take on a very professional look while maintaining a local feel that will enhance the shopping experience for all the customers who shop or patronize the tenants within the development," Puetz said. "It is our goal to entice even more businesses to the area, creating an even more diverse development that provides goods and services to local and regional customers all in one stop. We really are excited to invest in our community for the long run."

It's the sixth expansion of County Fair since it was purchased by the Clarkes in 1984. County Fair Food Stores has four locations in two states employing approximately 250 associates.