Cumberland Times-News

January 12, 2013

Plenty of good news about development, say officials

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — Allegany County commissioners cited a number of positive developments in jobs and business expansion in their review of 2012 at their Thursday business meeting.

Commission President Michael McKay cited several economic bright spots.

“Chessie Federal Credit Union purchased 7 Commerce Center, a 20,000-square-foot building.

“Chessie will expand its local operation, hire additional employees and continue to maintain its current operation in downtown Cumberland,” McKay said during the State of the County address, in which all three commissioners participated.

In August, Chessie paid $2.5 million to the county to purchase the former CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield building, moving the property back into private hands.

More property moved into private hands when Schroeder Industries signed a contract of sale to purchase the North Branch Industrial Park’s 60,000-square-foot multi-tenant building, McKay said.

That purchase expanded Schroeder’s square footage from 48,000 square feet in the building.

The good economic news also extended to the Frostburg Industrial Park.

“Hamilton Telecommunications expanded to lease the Frostburg Business Park’s entire 1 Science Complex, a 20,000-square-foot building, and plans to hire 80 to 90 new associates for full-time and part-time ... jobs,” McKay said. The Department of Economic and Community Development was successfully advancing the county’s business climate, McKay said.

The county was awarded grant funds from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s stream restoration challenge, said Daniel DeWitt, a county engineer. The $131,627 grant awarded was larger than expected, DeWitt said.

The grant will help plant 23 acres of trees in the county, which will help the county meet its goal of reducing pollutants entering the Chesapeake Bay, DeWitt said.

Because the grant is so large, the project will have to be bid, DeWitt said. There is a local in-kind match that the county can meet by using staff time and field visits for the design and plan of the project. No cash contribution by the county is required, DeWitt said.

Local schools will also be involved in the tree plantings.

“We have worked closely with the board of education (to involve students),” DeWitt said.

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