MedImmune aerial 042215

AstraZeneca’s MedImmune facility in Frederick in 2015. AstraZeneca has announced plans to bring 300 new jobs to the area with a $200 million project.

Plans to expand MedImmune’s Frederick manufacturing plant will move forward with financial support from Frederick County after the County Council approved an agreement with tax credits and other economic incentives for the biotechnology firm Tuesday night.

In a 6-1 vote, the Frederick County Council approved the county’s $3.8 million contribution to a $6.8 million conditional loan for MedImmune’s expansion and an agreement guaranteeing the AstraZeneca-owned firm certain tax credits and access to specific county resources over the next decade.

MedImmune announced plans for a $200 million expansion late last year. The project will bring 300 new jobs, adding $25 million to the company’s annual payroll, and it will add over 40,000 square feet to the company’s facilities in Frederick. It is predicted to be completed by the end of 2017.

Billy Shreve was the lone council member to vote against the conditional loan and agreement, saying that businesses should not trust the county government to keep its promises after breaching past agreements such as the one with the Citizens and Montevue assisting living centers.

“The agreement we made ... is not worth the paper it’s written on,” Shreve said.

Of the $6.8 million conditional loan, Frederick County will contribute a capped amount of $3.8 million and the city of Frederick will be responsible for the remaining $3 million. Officials determined the county and city’s contributions to the conditional loan based on current tax rates.

Additional tax revenue received through the project’s expansion will fund the loan, which is set to be paid over a 15-year period with an automatic five-year extension if the total has not been reached in that time frame.

To remain eligible for the conditional loan, MedImmune must meet performance requirements, which include conducting a minimum of $145 million of real estate construction at the project site and create 300 new jobs.

“I have no doubt they will far exceed the $145 million ... and far exceed the 300 jobs in the future,” said Helen Propheter, director of the county’s economic development office.

However, Propheter clarified that the loan is not one in the traditional sense.

“In banking, a loan is very much a loan,” she said. “In economic development, it means we have put forth to the business criteria they must meet.”

Councilman Tony Chmelik echoed Propheter’s sentiment, noting the importance of MedImmune’s action to forward-fund roughly $7 million for road improvements near Solarex Court and Md. 180.

“It’s important for folks to understand that Frederick County is not writing a check out here. ... They’ve already cut the checks to do these [road] improvements ... we are basically paying them back,” he said.

“They have a track record, they’ve been in county some time ... it seems to be a win-win for everybody here,” Chmelik added.

City of Frederick officials are scheduled to vote on the conditional loan Thursday evening at City Hall.

Follow Paige Jones on Twitter: @paigeleejones.

Paige Jones covers business and biotech in Frederick County. She started at the paper in 2014 as a nighttime crime reporter before switching to business. A Kansas transplant in Maryland, she enjoys exploring the East Coast in her free time.

(14) comments

TomWheatley

3.8 million loan sounds like a real bargain compared to the TIF (aka loan) that the County floated for the Jefferson 'Tech' Park.

armillary

We're business friendly and open for business!

sej58

Billy Shreve knows nothing about economic development.

richardlyons

Billy gets his nose out of joint again. A class act. [wink]

ClareS

More corporate welfare. Yeah.

elymus43

Keep giving tax credits and incentives, the taxpayers will make up the difference.

DickD

I can understand Billy being upset, but if he is going to continue acting like this, he would be smart to resign.

Dwasserba

It's really not in Councilman Shreve's best interests to take every opportunity to remind us of his past involvement in unpopular issues. If only his seat had a trap door for those moments he is tempted.

Tigerzord

I hope those who voted for Shreve are now realizing what a waste of taxpayer money he is and won't do it again!!!!! EVER!!!!!!

FrederickFan

So Billy Shreve voted for the Citizens Montevue contract that squandered tens of $ millions of Frederick County taxpayer dollars by giving away cash, buildings, land and other assets, while forcing the County to pay for patients that don't exist. Then Shreve votes against support for one of the most import employers in Frederick County history.

Shreve is a self-serving buffoon who has absolutely no idea what he is doing. What he is doing is hurting Frederick County.

armillary

"No," Billy says with a smirk
as he channels that Kentucky Clerk
"I'm worthless," he hinted
"as the paper you've printed,"
"which proves that I won't do my work."

richardlyons

[thumbup][thumbup]

MCEDDE21

Famous last words 1, (from the B-person holdover): "I have no doubt they will far exceed the $145 million... and... 300 jobs." [I would prefer that Ms. Propheter's confidence include a statement of facts or evidence.]

Famous last words 2, (from the emerging B-person wannabe): "It’s important for folks to understand that Frederick County is not writing a check out here. ... They’ve already cut the checks to do these [road] improvements ... we are basically paying them back." [I don't understand.]

Famous last words 3, (from the B-person): "If it was unethical, they'd make it illegal." [No further comment.]

FrederickVeteran

Ge is looking to move out CT can someone get on the phone to Gov Hogan and offer them a package to lure them to relocate to our area?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!