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DOT Foods to expand

August 24, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday unanimously agreed to sell 4.25 acres in the 70/81 Industrial Park to DOT Foods, Inc., which plans to expand its distribution center and create about 150 jobs within five years.

The Illinois-based national food service redistributor is buying property not needed by the Washington County Water and Sewer Department at the Conococheague Wastewater Treatment Facility. The plant complex is on Elliott Parkway north of Williamsport.

The land is across the street from the company's 150,000-square-foot distribution center, General Manager John Long said. About 170 people work at the center, which opened in 1994, he said.

The land purchase will make it possible to expand the distribution center on the existing site by 75,000 square feet, Long said.

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The company will park its tractors and trailers on the land it is buying and use it for a storm water retention pond, freeing up space for expansion at the existing site, Long said.

The company, which buys products from food manufacturers and sells them to restaurant suppliers, is paying for the land with a $380,000 conditional loan from the Maryland Industrial and Commercial Redevelopment Fund. Money for the fund is awarded by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

The Washington County Commissioners will pay a $41,800 local match.

The loan is conditional on DOT hiring at least 150 full-time employees by June 30, 2004. It also must retain 150 new workers and invest a minimum of $4 million in capital expenses by June 30, 2007.

If the company meets those conditions the loan becomes a grant, Tim Troxell, assistant director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said.

Long declined to speculate on the salaries of the new transportation and warehouse-related jobs.

Troxell had figures he said were based on a prior presentation by the company.

"According to the company, most of the new jobs start at $25,000 per year, and many of the new jobs will be more than $50,000 per year," Troxell said.

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