The quality of life in Frederick is to be envied, according to Bobby Baumler, the city’s manager of economic development.

While city staff thinks quality of life is not lacking in the city, Baumler said, they wanted to know what really set it apart from others.

After conducting a survey about the city’s competitiveness in the region, city staff has a better idea of what is boosting the city’s edge and what areas could use some work.

Members of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, representing 15 businesses, were asked to answer questions about the city’s competitiveness, community attributes and target industries.

Frederick’s strong points are its workforce, availability of land and development sites, labor costs, high-tech business incubation, and the cost and availability of downtown parking, the survey respondents said. Areas that need to be addressed include the state business climate, with its tax structure and fees; vacant and blighted buildings; real property taxes for land and buildings; development impact fees for water, sewer, roads, parks and schools; and the time it takes to acquire needed approvals and permits.

When asked what community attributes were most important, respondents were most likely to give high importance to Fort Detrick and the National Cancer Institute, the city’s proximity to Baltimore and Washington, and city parks such as Carroll Creek Linear Park and Baker Park. The Clustered Spires Municipal Golf Course, business development initiatives such as tax credits, and Frederick Municipal Airport were most likely to be given low importance.

Tourism, biotech and life sciences, professional services, and advanced technology were the industries said to be of importance, while retail, health care and manufacturing ranked low.

Celebrate Frederick holiday season begins

The most wonderful time of the year, and one of the busiest times of the year for Celebrate Frederick, is about to begin.

The nonprofit invites you to several events starting this week to celebrate the holiday season, in the 29th annual Holidays in Historic Frederick event series.

On Wednesday, there will be a juried art show at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center. Friday is the Festival of Lights in the courtyard of City Hall. The Candlelight House Tours will take place Saturday and Dec. 7. On Dec. 11, the Scents & Sweets Competition will return to The Faux School. The Kris Kringle Procession is Dec. 12, starting at South Carroll and West Patrick streets and ending in Baker Park.

For more details about the events, visit celebratefrederick.com or call 301-600-2841.

Send notes about your city government to Jen Fifield at jfifield@newspost.com.

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