ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland Board of Public Works continued the state’s economic development push Wednesday by offering loan packages to two businesses.
The board approved a $228,000 loan for the Frederick Sport and Ice Arena, which opened last December as the first ice rink in Frederick County.
Owner and general partner Byron Dyke said he sought the loan as a way to tackle the final piece of the arena’s startup cost.
“We worked with the state for about a year to find an appropriate match for what we needed,” Dyke said.
Since the arena’s opening, Dyke said, more than 40 jobs have been created and taxes have more than paid for the state’s opening investment.
The board also approved a $90,000 loan for relocation costs for Vartta Inc., an Anne Arundel county cabinetmaking firm.
Faced with the end of its lease, the company looked to find a new site. After negotiations with state officials, Vartta decided to move to Carroll County and take over the old CraftWorld building.
“We looked in four counties across the state which offered an affordable price before deciding on Carroll County,” said Roger Dreschler, community finance director for the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development.
The five-year loan helped Maryland beat out a bid from Farmville, Va., to acquire the company, according to officials from the economic development department. Vartta currently employs 55 people.
Both businesses are participating in Maryland’s Industrial and Commercial Redevelopment Fund, which lends as much as $3 milion to businesses for building costs or infrastructure improvements.
The loans are made at reduced interest rates, typically hovering around 5 percent. The arena’s loan was fixed at 5.5 percent over 10 years, while Vartta received a 5 percent interest rate over five years.
Also at the meeting, Gov. Parris N. Glendening touted the creation of 100 new jobs through the expansion of the Harford County Detention Center. The board approved an $8 million contract for center’s construction, which will double the size of the existing detention center. “The economic impact of this project is reflected not only in the purchase of construction materials, but also in jobs,” Glendening said in a statement. “Additional millions of dollars are rippling through the Harford County economy in direct construction dollars and indirect support expenditures.” -30-