Ho­gan joins Mistle­toe Hall kick­off

Gover­nor vis­its Eas­ton as con­struc­tion starts on new com­merce and busi­ness park

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRISTINA ACOSTA ca­costa@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — On Fri­day af­ter­noon, Oct. 19, lo­cal, county and state of­fi­cials gath­ered to an­nounce con­struc­tion on Eas­ton’s new com­merce and busi­ness park at the Mistle­toe Hall Farm.

The 86.25-acre par­cel on Golds­bor­ough Neck Road, which com­prises seven parcels, of­fers a prime lo­ca­tion to en­cour­age en­trepreneurial ac­tiv­ity and sup­port busi­ness ex­pan­sion and at­trac­tion. The land was set aside many years ago for busi­ness and in­dus­trial use, and long has been part of Eas­ton’s plans for growth.

Fund­ing for the de­vel­op­ment came by a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship that se­cured the U.S. De­part­ment of Com­merce and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion grant. The fed­eral agency an­nounced in early Oc­to­ber that it had awarded Eas­ton a grant for $2,282,750 to com­plete the in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments nec­es­sary for the park’s de­vel­op­ment.

“Four years ago, we pledged to make Mary­land more busi­ness friendly, to grow

our pri­vate sec­tor, put more peo­ple to work and turn our econ­omy around, and that is ex­actly what we have done,” Gov. Larry Ho­gan said. “We have had the best year for busi­ness in more than a decade and the best year for job growth in 15 years. We went from los­ing 100,000 jobs to gain­ing 100,000 jobs. Now more busi­nesses are open, and more peo­ple are work­ing more than be­fore.”

The new busi­ness park will be­come home to the ex­pan­sion of the Whalen Com­pany, a ma­jor HVAC man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness. It also will be a lo­ca­tion for ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and new com­mer­cial ten­ants.

The fund­ing will al­low for the roads, storm wa­ter man­age­ment and util­i­ties to be con­structed, re­sult­ing in a “pad” space avail­able for short- or long-term lease. The project is ex­pected to take 24 to 36 months to com­plete.

Por­tions of Golds­bor­ough Neck and Air­port Road have been slated for fu­ture im­prove­ments to ac­com­mo­date the de­vel­op­ment of a new re­gional hos­pi­tal site off U.S. Route 50 near the Tal­bot County Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

In part­ner­ship with the Town of Eas­ton, Tal­bot County ap­plied for and re­ceived a $250,000 Ru­ral Mary­land Pros­per­ity In­vest­ment Fund in­fra­struc­ture grant through the Ru­ral Mary­land Coun­cil to be­gin work on the first phase of im­prove­ments to Golds­bor­ough Neck Road to sup­port this project. The road from Glebe Road to the en­trance of Mistle­toe Hall will be widened and im­proved to al­low for the traf­fic that will be gen­er­ated by the prop­erty’s de­vel­op­ment.

“Thanks to Gov. Ho­gan, we have ad­min­is­tered the Ru­ral Mary­land Pros­per­ity In­vest­ment Fund. This find was cre­ated in 2006, and un­der Gov. Ho­gan, we have re­ceived full fund­ing in FY19,” said Char­lotte Davis, Ru­ral Mar yland Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

The Mid-Shore Re­gional Coun­cil was in­stru­men­tal in help­ing the town and dounty to se­cure the grant fund­ing for this project. MSRC Chair­man Wal­ter Chase said the project has been listed for many years in the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy. The project strength­ens the Mid-Shore’s busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment and re­sources, and he said he is pleased to have played a role in se­cur­ing the fund­ing.

Linda Cruz-Car­nall, re­gional di­rec­tor at the U.S. De­part­ment of Com­merce, Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion, echoed Ho­gan’s sen­ti­ments for the need for a fruit­ful part­ner­ship to stim­u­late busi­ness growth for the state.

“The Mid-Shore team as­sists EDA in de­liv­er­ing our long-term goal of strate­gic and con­tin­u­ous eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment plan­ning for the re­gion, em­body­ing the doc­u­ment, af­fec­tion­ately known as the CEDS, Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy,” CruzCar­nall said.

She said it was through this con­tin­u­ous plan­ning process that the coun­cil iden­ti­fied the loss of over

600 man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs since 2007 through plant clo­sures in Tal­bot County.

The project en­ables the cre­ation of 55 new man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs. It also will achieve the re­ten­tion of

137 jobs and pri­vate in­vest­ment of $4.5 mil­lion. The park also will have an air in­dus­try-re­lated busi­ness site for the ad­ja­cent Eas­ton Air­port.

PHOTO BY CHRISTINA ACOSTA

Gov. Larry Ho­gan vis­its Eas­ton Fri­day, Oct. 19, as work be­gins on Mistle­toe Hall Com­merce-Busi­ness Park.

PHO­TOS BY CHRISTINA ACOSTA

Crowds on Fri­day look for­ward to the work be­gin­ning on Mistle­toe Hall Com­merce-Busi­ness Park.

Char­lotte Davis, Ru­ral Mary­land Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, speaks at the Mistle­toe Hall Com­merce-Busi­ness Park on Fri­day.

Linda Cruz-Car­nall, re­gional di­rec­tor at U.S. De­part­ment of Com­merce, Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion, echoed Ho­gan’s sen­ti­ments for the need for a fruit­ful part­ner­ship to stim­u­late busi­ness growth for the state.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan hears re­marks with the crowd about Mistle­toe Hall on Fri­day.

PHO­TOS BY CHRIS POLK

Den­nis Powell has a dis­play of spe­cially de­vel­oped cast iron cook­ware from his Eas­ton foundry and shop “But­ter Pat” dur­ing the “Daz­zled!” Academy Art Mu­seum Craft Show this week­end.

Lu­mi­nous glass glows off the wall in the booth of Paul Wilsea of Naples, N.Y., dur­ing the Academy Art Mu­seum’s Craft Show “Daz­zled!,” which con­tin­ues Sun­day.

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