Cities, towns recognized for business growth efforts

From left are Mount Airy Main Street Manager Ashley Collier, Walkersville Burgess Chad Weddle, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, Middletown Burgess John Miller, Woodsboro Burgess Bill Rittlemyer, Myersville Mayor Wayne Creadick Jr., Helen Propheter, director, Office of Economic Development; New Market Mayor Winslow F. Burhans III, Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, Brunswick Mayor Pro-Tem Angel White and Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird.

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development recognized 10 cities and towns when its first Municipalities Impact Awards for their commitments to supporting businesses, leading to economic growth.

In 2017, the Office of Economic Development conducted a survey with the county’s municipalities to gather economic impact data, according to a news release. The survey concluded that 41 percent of the county’s population lives in a municipality and 62 percent of businesses are also in a municipality.

The award was created to recognize the projects and initiatives elected officials and staff in municipalities work on every day to increase the number of jobs and businesses in Frederick County.

Those awarded were recognized for a key economic priority that supports the county’s overall economic goal.

The cities that were awarded were Brunswick, for small business and entrepreneurship, and Frederick, for business attraction.

The eight towns that were recognized were Emmitsburg, Mount Airy, Myersville and Walkersville, for infrastructure and large projects; Middletown and Woodsboro, for business retention; New Market, for business expansion and Thurmont, for business marketing.

“We know that our cities and towns serve a critical role in attracting businesses for our county,” said Helen Propheter, Office of Economic Development director, in a news release. “When businesses look to locate or expand their business, they’re not just looking at what land or vacant property might be available. They also want to be sold on the total package of each town or city. They want to know the quality of the local workforce, what infrastructure projects are being completed to support their business and what quality of life factors exist such as tourism attractions.”

Mount Airy Mayor Patrick Rockinberg said over the last five years the town has worked on large infrastructure projects such as replacing the town’s water mains.

“We do a great job keeping our systems up and running for our citizens,” he said. “Right now it feels great to be recognized.”

The mayor said the town is working on a master project for its downtown that includes many small projects such as adding more sidewalks and parking.

Donald Briggs, mayor of Emmitsburg, said more than $500,000 — a 50 percent grant match — was put into improving downtown Emmitsburg.

“We’re honored to get the award,” he said. “We worked very hard to develop a grand program for property owners in our historic district.”

Part of the downtown revitalization project included adding a dog park, adding LED lights to streetlamps and redoing the town’s sidewalks.

“We’re always looking for more ways to connect our sidewalks system to get our people downtown,” he said. “Our goal is over a period of time to have a million dollars of improvement to our downtown.”

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.

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