The Letcher County Fiscal Court has taken action to help Tractor Supply locate a store in Whitesburg.
At a special meeting held December 1, the court voted unanimously to enter into negotiations for the lease of the site that houses the Ermine Senior Citizens Center after emerging from an executive session to discuss the terms of the lease. The senior citizens center has been vacant since the court voted last year to consolidate all the senior citizens centers into one site at the Letcher County Recreation Center.
At a called meeting held early in November, Judge/ Executive Jim Ward told the court that that he had met with representatives of Tractor Supply in late October, and that Tractor Supply had expressed an interest in leasing the site vacated by the IGA Store in the Whitesburg Plaza shopping center that houses Walmart, AutoZone, and a number of smaller stores. At that meeting, Judge Ward said the new store should create between 20 and 30 jobs and added that property around the Ermine Senior Citizens Center would be used for outdoor storage. It is uncertain if the building that served as the center will be demolished, but at the earlier meeting, Ward said it is possible that it may be left standing or may be modified in some way
In its corporate information, Tractor Supply Company states that it is the largest operator of rural lifestyle retail stores in the United States. The company operates more than 1,500 retail stores in 49 states, and employs more than 23,000. Tractor Supply is headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., and as of September 24, 2016, it owns and operates 1,575 stores in 49 states. Its plans for 2016 call for opening 113 new stores. The company website is http:// www.tractorsupply.com/.
The company was founded in 1938 as a mail-order catalog business to offer tractor parts to farmers, and currently has annual revenues of approximately $6.2 billion. The typical Tractor Supply store has about 15,500 square feet of selling space inside, with a similar amount of outside space. Tractor Supply stores sell products from welders and generators to animal care products and men’s and women’s work wear. They also carry pet supplies, animal feed, power tools, riding mowers, and lawn and garden products.