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Jackson business to expand

Julie buntjer/Daily Globe Individuals from the city of Jackson, Jackson Economic Development Corp. and representatives from C&B Operations LLC, pose at the future site of the new Tri-County Implement in Jackson. The facility is anticipated to open in late 2013.

JACKSON -- The community of Jackson is already seeing more Challenger yellow and Massey Ferguson red, and by the end of next year they will see a lot more green -- John Deere green, that is.

In a Wednesday morning press conference at Jackson City Hall, local officials and executives from Tri-County Implement announced plans to construct a new John Deere sales, service and training facility. The more than 25,000-square-foot building will be located on an 18-acre parcel east of HitchDoc and a Minnesota Department of Transportation shop on Jackson County 34. The land fronts Interstate 90.

Plans for the $3.7 million facility have been more than three years in the making. They involved a land swap of 24 acres of undevelopable land in the airport flight path for 18 acres of "prime development land" farther to the east.

"Less than 30 days after this three-year process was complete, those 18 acres have been sold to R & M (Commercial Properties Inc.) to bring added tax base and added jobs to our community and to provide a marvelous facility to benefit the agricultural base of our region," said Sandy Phillips, vice president of the JEDC.

Two new positions will be created at Tri-County Implement within the first two years, with additional growth tied to the future of the agricultural industry.

The land swap was completed on May 15, and construction activity will need to begin prior to July 1 to take advantage of Stimulus Tax Increment Financing approved by the city of Jackson.

A nine-year TIF District was approved for the site, which means the company will be reimbursed for a portion of the taxes it pays during each of the first nine years.

Jackson Mayor Wayne Walter was excited about the added growth coming to his community.

"Anytime we can get growth in Jackson it's just great," he said. "It means a commitment that they're going to be here. A lot of people worked on this together. There was no 'I's' --this was a big team effort to get them in here."

Tri-County Implement is one of 21 dealerships owned by C&B Operations LLC. C&B was established in 1988 between friends Rod Burwell and Dan Cronin, after the last dealership in Gettysburg, S.D., announced it was going to close.

"Dad and Rod stepped in and bought it," said Matt Cronin, president and CEO of C&B. "We're relatively young as a dealer. There are dealers out there that are four- and five-generation dealers. We hope to be that, but time will tell."

C&B Operations is headquartered in Gettysburg, with dealerships in Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The Jackson facility was purchased in 1997.

"We're excited we're expanding and doing things to support the need for better facilities in many of our locations," Cronin said. "If our business wasn't growing, we wouldn't need a larger facility."

Initially, talks revolved around expanding the existing location along U.S. 71.

"We were looking at various options because we knew we'd outgrown our current facility," Cronin said. "We were looking at putting on additional shop (space) at our present location and (JEDC) came to us and started pitching some ideas of doing something a little more significant. They talked me into it."

With the changes in the agricultural industry in the last 10 to 15 years, Cronin said dealers have to keep pace. The approximately 40-year-old building in Jackson was no longer large enough to house some of the larger equipment, particularly combines, brought in to the shop.

Though the design for the new facility has not yet been completed and the size isn't determined, Cronin expects their new shop, showroom and training facility will be larger than 25,000 square feet.

"It will house a state-of-the-art shop with everything they need for safety and efficiency; parts storage and a regional training facility," he said. "It gives us more elbow room for parts and provides a lot more efficient space. We'll have more room for product display and equipment, and the shop will be much larger than our current facility. We'll be much better prepared to take care of customers."

The additional space offered in the 18-acre parcel will allow the Jackson dealership to provide more in the way of home products. Recently adding a line of Honda Power Equipment to its offerings, C&B Operations COO Kent Senf said Tri-County Implement will offer Honda lawn mowers, trimmers and tillers, as well as John Deere products ranging from walk-behind snowblowers to riding lawnmowers and compact tractors.

"We'll serve the community of Jackson more than we ever have before -- not just the traditional farmer out there," Senf said.

The current Tri-County Implement building will be offered for sale, and Cronin said it will provide "another opportunity for the Jackson area to bring in another business."

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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