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Taylor County Wal-Mart opens

by Paul Leakan

STAFF WRITER

Some business owners rue the day when a massive superstore opens in their town.

But some officials in Taylor County aren't exactly saddened by the opening of Wal-Mart's new Supercenter in Grafton.

"We worked real hard to get it here," said Carl Davis, president of the Taylor County Chamber of Commerce.

"This is a big thing for Taylor County."

Wal-Mart's Supercenter, located on 1 Wal-Mart Lane off of U.S. Route 250, will create 230 new jobs.

"It's a great thing to me to walk through there and see dozens of people I know working out there," Davis said.

"They have jobs, and they're happy to have jobs."

Davis also pointed out that new Wal-Mart could draw in residents from Preston, Barbour, Tucker and Upshur counties. None of those counties currently have a Wal-Mart.

In addition, those who live in Taylor County won't have to travel to Clarksburg or Fairmont or Morgantown to shop at Wal-Mart, Davis said.

"In many towns, it would be considered very problematic (to open a Wal-Mart) because it would take away business," said Grafton Mayor Tom Horacek.

"But we have so little business downtown that it's not a risk for us. It's bringing shopping to Grafton that we don't have,"Horacek said.

The creation of 230 new jobs also won't hurt the area's local economy, Horacek said.

"I've been living here for over 20 years," he said.

"There's not been another business come in that's brought 230 jobs to Taylor County,"Horacek said.

The 24-hour Grafton store is scheduled to officially open for business today.

County and local dignitaries plan to meet with Wal-Mart officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. today at the store.

Area residents are invited to the ceremony.

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