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Allegany County Commissioners Jim Stakem, Dale Lewis and Bob Hutcheson listen to a progress report on the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield construction site from Carl Belt Jr. Also shown are Martha Spencer and Sally Miller of CareFirst and John Balch, local businessman and investor.

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CUMBERLAND — As part of a weekly progress meeting held at the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield construction site at Bedford Road and Naves Cross Road, the county commissioners toured the $12 million project Friday morning.

The county sold 6.6 acres in Commerce Center Park to CFBC Properties LLL for $350,000 and the Department of Economic Development secured $128,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the access road to the site.

“Despite the current national recession and the tough economic times facing the state of Maryland, it is great to see CareFirst BlueCross Blue- Shield continue to grow here in Allegany County,” said Commissioner Jim Stakem. “The prospect of increased employment with this new project is an encouraging sign for Allegany County.”

CareFirst will occupy a new 40,000-square-foot office building and has committed to a 10-year lease. The company plans to expand its Large Group Administrative Service unit, which provides claims processing and customer service for accounts consisting of 100 or more members.

Academic Privatization LLC is the developer and Carl Belt Inc. is the general contractor for the project. The new facility will be Academic Privatization’s fourth project in Allegany County.

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