Franchot visits Hurlock, talks economic climate
— Comptroller Peter Franchot met with the Hurlock Town Council Monday, Jan. 23, to discuss the state’s economic climate and various projects going on in Hurlock and Dorchester County.
Joining the Mayor Joyce Spratt and the Hurlock Town Council were Dorchester County Council President
Ricky Travers, County Manager Jeremy Goldman, Hurlock Police Chief Les Hutton and Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips.
Franchot complimented Hurlock for work on several projects, including sidewalks along Main Street, the new Hurlock Police Station and the future North Dorchester High School just outside town limits.
“Hurlock is on the rise,” Franchot said. “I’m delighted to hear the town is getting some new economic activity. Gov. (Larry) Hogan is well aware of Hurlock, sending some sidewalk money down.
“You have a new school that Gov. Hogan and I will be talking a look at, at the Board of Public Works meeting,” he said. “You have a new veterans park in the works. I can help you on that. I wanted to stop by and say keep up the great work. Thank you to all the council members, and to Mayor Spratt for your fine leadership and vision.”
Franchot said the state is on the edge of a 10-year economic boom.
“I’m talking new jobs, new wages, new infrastructure,” he said. “This is all going to happen with what we see going on with the economy right now.
He said certain things need to fall in place for the boom to occur, including a corporate income tax cut in Washington and bringing money back from overseas.
“Regulatory relief has to be provided a little bit through Congress,” he said. “Democrats have to get their act together on an infrastructure plan so we can spend it. We have to avoid getting into a trade war with China. That would not be good for local economic activity.
“If we can maneuver our way through that, my experts tell me that wealthy people are moving their money out of safe harbors and putting it into investments,” he said. “I tell that to Gov. Hogan and he gets ver y happy because we have a tremendous state in Maryland as far as the economy.”
Franchot said a big reason for Maryland’s success has been Hogan.
“It is pretty impressive when you see what I’ve seen under the pervious four administrations,” he said. “That is 20 years in the legislator and 10 years as comptroller. Gov. Hogan, give the guy credit, he is a breath of fresh air. He is unique.”
Spratt announced the Hurlock would be celebrating its 125th anniversary and the town would have a new downtown veterans memorial park. She said the town hopes to dedicate the veterans memorial park during the fall festival in October. The project has been spearheaded by Frank and Faye Fraley, who have served on the veterans memorial committee with Spratt and John Avery, the town administrator.
“We have had a good year,” Spratt said. “We were able to get the new police department done. We are getting ready to start the Hurlock Museum, which will be where the old police department was.”
Just outside of town, construction has begun for the new North Dorchester High School. Franchot, who pushed to get funding for the new school, joined Dorchester County officials for the groundbreaking in September. The building is expected to be complete in August 2019, in time for the class of 2020 to begin its senior year of high school. The projected cost is $48.8 million.
Travers said the school is coming along very well. He said the wells for the geothermal system are under construction, and crew will be constructing the new athletic fields soon. He said the school’s structure should be under construction in two to three months.
“We are very excited about the things that are going on — some we can talk about and some we can’t,” Travers said. “We are meeting with some individuals in reference to some new things going on in the county. There is some assistance, of course from your side, we have been working with.
“We are very pleased in general with how things have been going with our relationship with the state,” he said. “I’m just really pleased with the amount of people from Annapolis coming to Dorchester County to show concern. The state is working with us on the 500-block of Race Street in Cambridge, and on Woods Road. We appreciate all of your support with the new North Dorchester High School.”
Comptroller Peter Franchot meets with Hurlock and Dorchester County officials during his visit to Hurlock on Jan. 23.