One new job cre­ated at Mat­a­peake In­dus­trial Park

Record Observer - - Real Estate -

KENT IS­LAND — The Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers have sent its se­cond semi-an­nual grant re­port to the state re­gard­ing its job cre­ation progress at the Mat­a­peake In­dus­trial Park, and since Au­gust only one job has been cre­ated.

The un­skilled la­bor po­si­tion cre­ated, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, was at Michi­gan Me­chan­i­cal.

To be in com­pli­ance with a Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Block Grant that be­gan in April 2011, the county is re­quired to cre­ate 60 jobs, of which 31 are re­quired to be for low- to mod­er­ate-in­come in­di­vid­u­als. To date, six full-time jobs have been cre­ated at the busi­ness park, all of which were to low- to mod­er­ate-in­come in­di­vid­u­als.

CDBG grants are al­ways tied with job cre­ation.

The grant, orig­i­nally worth $500,000, was ex­tended to $575,000 for fur­ther in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments at the county’s re­quest. If the county is un­able to cre­ate 54 more jobs by the Feb. 28 dead­line given to the county, it could be sub­ject to pay­ing back the en­tirety of the grant amount.

County Ad­min­is­tra­tor Gregg Todd said funds for po­ten­tial re­pay­ment are avail­able from the ini­tial lot sales if necce­sary.

The pro­fes­sional park is lo­cated off of Route 8 on Kent Is­land and is des­ig­nated as pri­or­ity fund­ing area, zoned as Sub­ur­ban In­dus­trial.

In a let­ter last Fe­bru­ary, the Mary­land Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, which is the agency that pro­vided the CDBG grant, gave the county un­til Fe­bu­rary 2017 come into com­pli­ance with the grant terms be­cause a lack of jobs that had been cre­ated.

The first semi-an­nual grant re­port was sent to the state in Au­gust and stated one job had been cre­ated, bring­ing the to­tal at the time to five.

The park is bro­ken up into seven lots, two owned by the county and five by pri­vate busi­nesses. The main rea­son the county has had trou­ble over the years get­ting in com­pli­ance is that, though the lots have been pur­chased, only two busi­nesses have struc­tures and op­er­a­tions.

The five com­pa­nies own­ing lots are Michi­gan Me­chan­i­cal, Ch­e­sa­peake Wiper and Sup­ply, Mil­tec, Com­mer­cial Car­pet Lo­gis­tics and Pen­guin Ven­tures, with Michi­gan Me­chan­i­cal and Ch­e­sa­peake Wiper and Sup­ply the only two with struc­tures.

The two lots owned by Queen Anne’s County are not planned for de­vel­op­ment pur­poses as they are en­vi­sioned to be used for forested buf­fers.

When the lots were ini­tially sold, no claw­back claus was cre­ated stip­u­lat­ing the busi­nesses had to be­gin con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion in a cer­tain time­frame, leav­ing the county with vir­tu­ally no power to make them cre­ate jobs.

Through the county’s Busi­ness Rein­vest­ment and In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Grant En­ter­prise (BRIDGE) that is funded through a por­tion of the county’s recor­da­tion tax, as well as its Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment In­cen­tive Fund, fu­ture agree­ments would be vet­ted through those eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment tac­tics to en­sure fall­back pro­vi­sions are cre­ated.

Todd said a meet­ing with of­fi­cials from the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment will be sched­uled this month to re­view the county’s progress.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Com­mer­cial Car­pet Lo­gis­tics, own­ers of Lot 3 at the Mat­a­peake In­dus­trial Park on Kent Is­land, have cre­ated a struc­ture, mak­ing it the third com­pany to do so. The other busi­nesses with struc­tures up at the park are Michi­gan Me­chan­i­cal and Ch­e­sa­peake Wiper and Sup­ply.

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