County Commissioners signed a letter of support for the Rural Maryland Economic Development Fund grant application at the August 9 meeting. Heather Tinelli, Director of Economic and Tourism Development and Rebecca Lepter, Economic Development Coordinator presented several projects that were identified as priority projects in the application. This funding opportunity from the Maryland Department of Commerce will support economic development activity, stimulate private investment, and grow jobs in the state’s rural counties.
Projects can be county focused or regional in scope and must be completed within 24 months. Tinelli further explained they utilized the same Grant Review committee they had formed during COVID-19 to disperse various grants related to recovery. Queen Anne’s County is set to receive $2.9 million dollars for county specific projects and the upper shore region which includes Cecil and Kent counties will receive $1.3 million for regional based projects.
The projects identified:
Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park Association, Inc.
A complete update for all the infrastructure within the park grounds. This would include electric, paving of walkways and drives inside the park, waterlines, broadband, updating and or replacement of building and facilities, correction of drainage issues and hard surfacing the handicap parking area.
Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission
QAC EDC is looking to engage a firm to assess sites for industrial development, site visit presentation review and industry competitive analysis. This study will then inform an update to the EDC’s Strategic Plan which will also be funded as part of the award.
Town of Centreville Wastewater Treatment Plan Upgrades
Town is planning to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant and federal earmark funding is limited therefore the town is seeking a portion of the funding to modernize the wastewater system.
Town of Church Hill
Town will erect a 195-foot cell tower on the wastewater treatment plant property to enhance wireless communications including internet and broadband for Church Hill and surrounding areas.
Upper Shore Community Development Partners: Minority Entrepreneurship Training Accelerator (META)
META will be a 1-year intensive business development and coaching program for Black and minority sole proprietorships that will lead to the creation of fully formed LLCs equipped with tangible assets and a targeted microgrant to help fund future expansion on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore.
Chesapeake College: Expansion of Trade Programs
The college plans to expand the Marine Trades Program, create a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and start an Advance Manufacturing Technology Program. This will also be part of the regional funding from the other upper shore counties.
QAC Public Schools & QAC Economic & Tourism Development
Funding will create a dedicated career center housed in each high school. This office would be staffed by a Career Counselor whose position is solely dedicated to career awareness, guidance, and career connections for our students. The Career Counselor would work with students, businesses and the QAC Career and Technology Liaison to establish meaningful and purposeful internships, apprenticeships and job placements.
Town of Sudlersville
The town is proposing to contract with a consultant that will focus on economic development initiatives such as: create a formal economic development strategy, implementing the Sustainable Communities Renewal Plan, a new Comprehensive Plan, track projects and connections and seek funding opportunities and report on existing grants.
QAC Economic & Tourism Development: High Speed Fiber Connection in Chesapeake Bay Business Park
Installation of underground fiber capable of providing uninterrupted service in any weather condition along a 1.89-mile path so service can be provided to all sites in the Chesapeake Bay Business Park.
QAC Waterman’s Association
Purchase equipment and larvae for 2 oyster restoration projects in the county. Investing in new techniques that are more cost effective and less reliant on oyster shells which are becoming more difficult to acquire.
Growing Agribusiness in QAC: An Economic Feasibility Study
This study will include an evaluation of current infrastructure, geographic and environmental considerations and code and policy which has potential economic impact to Queen Anne’s County. Some short terms actions include highlighting existing agribusiness, and the long-term actions include solutions for challenges and barriers to the growth of agribusiness.
To learn more about our Economic and Tourism Development Department visit choosequeenannes.com or follow them on social media #ChooseQueenAnnes
To learn more about the Rural Maryland Economic Development Fund visit https://commerce.maryland.gov/media/governor-hogan-announces-new-$50-million-rural-maryland-economic-development-fund