We have gone through some lean years in Cecil County. The recession that gripped the nation also adversely affected the fortunes of our county.
The housing market stalled. This fact not only cost construction jobs, but it also hurt government entities that had planned infrastructure and other improvements based on the healthy construction levels during the good years.
On the business scene, there were few things to celebrate. Throughout the recession, the county was able to benefit from the $800,000,000 addition to the Rock Springs electrical generation facility in Conowingo, one of the few major industrial projects in the state during the recent lean years.
It is time to look around and enjoy the growing prosperity in Cecil County! While additions and renovations still outnumber new home starts, there are now some new home starts!
The western end of the county is showing the growth in business development. The Amazon distribution center is opening. There are two other major construction projects out there. Lidl is creating a regional distribution center and another is a still-to-be-identified project that will be more than one million square feet and offer 450 jobs.
County government has been instrumental in working to get these projects to chose Cecil County. That is no easy feat. Many jurisdictions are prepared to do anything to get jobs into their area and successes like what we are achieving the Cecil County, are beyond the wildest dreams of officials in other areas.
But still there are naysayers. When the county offers a small amount of goodwill funding to leverage state support, some ill-informed citizens mumble about corporate welfare and other silly complaints.
These projects will mean millions of dollars in property taxes and significant increases in income tax revenue for the county. The token incentive money approved by the county will be paid back many, many, many times over in permits, fees and those taxes.
People who are satisfied with Cecil County’s former status as a bedroom community have obviously not read the studies that show that property taxes on homes do not pay for the cost of services for homeowners. Residential housing results in expensive demands for schools and other services. A healthy business/commercial/industrial presence adds to the tax revenue, but does not stress the demand for services.
Cecil County still has plenty of land that can be developed into commercial/industrial assets. The great thing is that the county has identified the area between US 40 and I95 as the growth area and these new, large projects are contained within this area.
The “Cecil Guardian” supports the county’s ongoing economic development activities and urges citizens who doubt the current course to add to the business tax base to discuss their concerns with elected officials and Office of Economic development staff. The citizens will come away with a new understanding of the importance of this activity to the future of the county.