Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Writer: Renee Shreve.
The Garrett County commissioners approved a resolution during their meeting Monday afternoon that could bring a new tenant to the McHenry Business Park.
The public session was held at Garrett College’s Community Aquatic and Recreation Complex.
A 20,000-square-foot shell building will be constructed at the park in partnership with the Maryland Economic Development Corp. and the Department of Commerce.
“The county acknowledges the loan proceeds of $2 million will be used for the project,” Commissioner Paul Edwards read from the resolution.
Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh said the county negotiated an agreement with the corporation and the department, which will provide the $2 million. MEDCO will design, construct and manage the building.
“We’re contributing the land for the building,” Hinebaugh said. “So, it’s an attempt on our part to try to get some activity going in the McHenry Business Park.”
He noted the county already has a “couple” of prospects for the shell building.
“Probably the top prospect is a local business that’s looking for more space,” Hinebaugh said. “We’ve had some really extensive conversations with them, and they’re anxious to get in the building and get started.”
The commissioner said MEDCO will try to use local vendors to construct the building.
“We hope to get construction started sometime in the next couple of months and get it up and under roof before winter,” Hinebaugh said.
The inside of the building will remain unfinished until specific information is known about the occupants and what their needs will be, he noted.
The commissioners unanimously approved the resolution and signed the document.
MEDCO was created by the General Assembly to serve as a statewide “economic development engine.” The corporation has real estate development and bond issuance powers as well as the ability to collaborate and create contemporary financial solutions for projects.
In other business, the commissioners:
--Approved a resolution authorizing Garrett County Community Action to submit a Community Development Block Grant application to the Maryland Department of Housing and Development.
Edwards said the nonprofit agency is seeking $800,000 to assist with the Chautauqua Park West, a workforce housing initiative primarily benefiting low-income households.
A public hearing on the grant application was held last month.
--Proclaimed June as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
--Held a public hearing on the Friendsville Sewer Equalization Tank Replacement Project.
“The current tank is about 300,000 gallons, and it’s failing,” said Pat Hudnall, Public Utilities administration and environmental chief. “We have engaged the EADS Group to design a new tank.”
The old tank will be removed, and a new 500,000-gallon tank will be constructed at the same site. The estimated cost of the project is $850,000.
“Funding is going to be coming through the USDA Rural Development program in the form of a 75 percent grant and 25 percent loan,” Hudnall said. “That leaves us with roughly $212,000 to finance through their loan program.”
No one at the meeting asked questions about or objected to the project, and the commissioners will proceed with the project.
--Held a public hearing on Garrett County Agricultural Land Preservation District Program applications.
Coordinator Gary Aronhalt, Department of Planning and Land Management, submitted three applications for the commissioners’ consideration: Dwayne and Karen Kinsinger, 33.4 acres, Pleasant Valley Road; Joseph Yoder, 90.23 acres, Dorsey Hotel Road; and Frank and Rebecca Vitez, 172.63 acres, Mill Run Road.
No one objected to the applications, and the commissioners unanimously approved the land owners’ admittance into the program.
The commissioners will hold their next public meeting at 6 p.m. on June 19th at the Bloomington Volunteer Fire Department. They plan to officially approve the county’s fiscal year 2019 budget during the event.