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BY CATHY JETT
Do you know the way to West Fredericksburg?
How about South Fredericksburg?
No surprise there. Those names don't appear on any map. But two major chains opening in Spotsylvania County in the next few weeks apparently thought they did.
Landover, Md.-based Giant Food sent out fliers yesterday trumpeting the opening of its new Super Giant on Sept. 28 in "West Fredericksburg."
That's a spot otherwise known to locals as the new Harrison Crossing-North Shopping Center on State Route 3 and Harrison Road in Spotsylvania.
And Kohl's, whose headquarters is in Menomonee Falls, Wis., sent out a press release the same day saying it will hold the grand opening for its second location here on Oct. 3 in "South Fredericksburg," (aka Cosner's Corner shopping center in Massaponax.)
Those companies aren't alone in their confusion about where they're located. Spotsylvania supervisors were told at their meeting last Tuesday that about $400,000 in state sales tax revenues are being sent to Fredericksburg this year instead of Spotsylvania, said Supervisor Gary Jackson.
"We're on the good end of that deal because we've got money coming back to us," he said. "Fredericksburg will have to cough up that money."
The problem, said Spotsylvania Economic Development Director Russell Seymour, is that most county mailing addresses say Fredericksburg, which confuses corporations and small businesses alike. They apparently don't realize the commonwealth is one of the few states where cities and counties are separate.
"They've had similar issues in south Stafford," he said.
Spotsylvania officials several years ago asked the United States Postal Service to change county mailing addresses to say Spotsylvania, but the Postal Service said it wasn't able to do that, he said.
The county has since taken matters into its own hands by listing its name on fliers, its Web site and on its cable assess channel whenever it talks about businesses located within its boundaries, Seymour said.
Giant Food will make sure that future advertising gives the correct location of its stores, said spokesman Jamie Miller.
He said the company's confusion over its new store's location occurred because the Harrison Road store was referred to internally as West Fredericksburg to differentiate it from the store it recently opened in Banks Ford Center on U.S. 17 in Stafford County.
"Somehow it got picked up by advertising and marketing. It shouldn't have been," Miller said. "That was a mistake."
Kohl's was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Regardless of what address they give, Supervisor Hap Connors said the county is excited to have both businesses.
"We've strived to expand our commercial tax base to lessen the strain on private property taxes," he said. "I can forgive them as long as they make sure their sales tax revenues are made out to Spotsylvania County."Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407