Ho­gan helps cut rib­bon on new War­wick Mush­room fa­cil­ity

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— As Gov. Larry Ho­gan helped cut the rib­bon on an ex­pan­sion of War­wick Mush­room Farm on Fri­day, he noted that it was a per­fect re­flec­tion on the emphasis of his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Our ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ally has been fo­cused on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and help­ing to cre­ate jobs,” he said. “We’re com­mit­ted to mak­ing Mary­land more busi­ness-friendly and agri­cul­ture­friendly, and ev­ery day we’re fo­cused on grow­ing our econ­omy and help­ing com­pa­nies in Mary­land ex­pand and cre­ate more jobs.”

Ho­gan called the War­wick Mush­room Farm, which cur­rently em­ploys about 230 em­ploy­ees with plans to hire up to 20 more, “an eco­nomic driver for north­east Mary­land.” The gover­nor also com­mended Ch­e­sa­peake Util­i­ties for pro­vid­ing nat­u­ral gas ser­vice to the fa­cil­ity, the first in south­ern Cecil County, from its home base in Delaware, say­ing it will “be a great move for fur­ther eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.”

“Ex­cit­ing ven­tures like this are yet an­other ex­am­ple that Mary­land re­ally is open for busi­ness,” he said. “Your suc­cess truly is Mary­land’s suc­cess.”

Ho­gan was joined Fri­day by

WAR­WICK

Mary­land Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture Joe Barten­felder, mem­bers of Cecil County’s state del­e­ga­tion, Cecil County Ex­ec­u­tive Tari Moore, mem­bers of the Cecil County Coun­cil and more.

Bill Steller, Phillips Mush­room Farms CFO, said his com­pany was ex­cited by the im­pact of their lat­est ex­pan­sion.

“War­wick Mush­room Farm is not only one of the most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced in the United States, but with the lat­est ex­pan- sion we now be­lieve it is the largest pro­duc­ing sin­gle farm in the coun­try, har­vest­ing over 600,000 pounds each week,” he said.

Steller said that Phillips Mush­room Farms has felt wel­comed by Mary­land pretty much from the out­set about seven years ago, but they won­dered what the Ho­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion would be like.

“We didn’t know too much about him — heck, we’re just a bunch of Yan­kees from Penn­syl­va­nia — but when he took of­fice, we heard one thing loud and clear, and that was ‘Mary­land is open for busi­ness,’” he re­called. “So we thought, ‘Well, here’s a guy who knows how to com­mu­ni­cate a mes­sage and vi­sion.’”

Michael McMasters, Ch­e­sa­peake Util­i­ties pres­i­dent and CEO, thanked the Phillips fam­ily for let­ting his util­ity be a part of the project and the gover­nor for fa­cil­i­tat­ing a busi­ness-friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

“We thank you for your sup­port of eco­nomic growth and ex­pan­sion of nat­u­ral gas in­fra­struc­ture on the shore. Just think about how many times has the gover­nor been here in south­ern Cecil County,” he said. “I would guess to say not a lot.”

McMasters noted that it took a lot for Fri­day’s rib­bon cut­ting to hap­pen, in­clud­ing ap­provals from Mary­land and Delaware’s Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sions and the Fed­eral En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion.

“We are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing nat­u­ral gas to com­mu­ni­ties on the Del­marva Penin­sula and beyond, and in a man­ner that re­duces emis­sions, pro­duces long-term sav­ings for the com­mu­ni­ties and cre­ates jobs,” he said. “Gover­nor, we want to work with you and your ad­min­is­tra­tion to help make the East­ern Shore a bet­ter place to live for its res­i­dents and busi­nesses.”

War­wick Mush­room farm man­ager Jack Reit­nauer ex­plained that the new 160,000- square- foot fa­cil­ity, which will triple the out­put of the op­er­a­tion, opened in Jan­uary, but is still com­ing fully on­line. The ad­di­tion of nat­u­ral gas ser­vice will cut the util­ity costs of the busi­ness by some 20 per­cent, as nat­u­ral gas will re­place propane in heat­ing and boiler op­er­a­tions, which con­trol tem­per­a­ture and wa­ter­ing of mush­room beds.

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

Gov. Larry Ho­gan cuts the rib­bon Fri­day of the War­wick Mush­room Farm’s lat­est ex­pan­sion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.