Elkton Wawa set to open by end of Oct.
While I was out and about ... Elkton officials tell me the newest Wawa at 302 W. Pulaski Highway in Elkton is expected to open Oct. 28. Store shelves are being stocked now, as the company prepares to open Cecil County’s third super Wawa.
The other two locations are on Route 279 in Elkton and at the corner of Route 40 and Mechanic’s Valley Road in North East.
Watch for signs posting the date.
*** Cecil County has seen evidence in recent weeks of an uptick in the local economy as construction of a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse in Principio Business Park is targeting a spring completion date and looking for one big tenant, or multiple smaller tenants.
Also, construction of Lidl’s northern regional headquarters hub is underway in Principio Business Park, but it’s in a much more highly visible site along Route 40 near Belvidere Road.
Cecil County Director of Economic Development Lisa Webb is optimistic about the economic impact of both projects, with a potential of job creation, income tax and property tax revenues for the county.
Lidl, a German global discount grocery chain, said they will be hiring employees to fill 120 full-time jobs, including managers, administration staff and logistics warehouse staff.
“Susquehanna Workforce Network is working with Lidl to help them hire and train employees,” Webb said, noting that a $20,000 workforce training grant from the county to Lidl will help potential employees who live in Cecil County.
The state provided $360,000 in business incentives to Lidl and Cecil County was required to offer 10 percent of that amount, or $36,000 as a match.
County Executive Tari Moore said the county’s match was split between $20,000 for job training and $16,000 in a conditional loan that must be paid back if certain conditions are not met within three years.
“It was not funded with taxpayer money,” Moore explained. “It was provided by a Business Incentive Fund, which was set up and required by the state to come from a portion of the casino revenue collected by the county each year.”
She estimates the return on investment to be worthwhile for the county. In its first year of operation, Moore estimated that Lidl will pay about $297,000 in real estate property taxes alone, with that amount increasing to $1.5 million annually after 10 years.
“The return on Cecil County’s investment of $36,000 from a one-time incentive could be more than ten-fold in Lidl’s first full year of operation and increase steadily after that,” she said. “This just makes good fiscal sense.”
*** Cecil County Tourism Coordinator Sandy Turner and her staff are all moved into their new office at 124 E. Main Street in Elkton. She said there’s still some organizing to complete, but the furniture and files have made the trek from the previous office at the now closed Perr yville Outlet Center.
Residents and visitors are welcome to stop by to learn more about Cecil County tourism events, activities and opportunities. The office is full of brochures and maps of local attractions featuring their hours and contact information.
Christie Dougherty, office services assistant, and/or Turner are there Monday through Friday during the day to answer questions and offer information about Cecil County.
Stop by and check it out when you’re in downtown Elkton.
*** The Upper Bay Museum is hosting its 49th annual Upper Shore Decoy Show Friday and Saturday at the North East Fire Hall’s ballroom on Mauldin Avenue, starting at 4 p.m. Oct. 21 with a preview of auction items until 6 p.m., followed by a preview party from 6 to 7 p.m. with the auction starting at 7 p.m.
Carving demonstrations will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the fire hall and members will offer tours of the museum and boat school, which are both located in North East Community Park.
If you have any tidbits to share with Cheryl Mattix for this column, you may contact her at email@example.com, or call her at 443-907-8440.
The new Wawa on Route 40 in Elkton is expected to open on Oct. 28.