During the delay, Lenox officials further analyzed their plans for consolidating U.S. production facilities and discovered efficiency measures that led to them only needing to create 70 jobs at the local center, Lynch said.
The 166 employees at the existing distribution center on Industrial Lane will move to the new center, Lynch said. The center is expected to be complete in October 2003, he said.
"We're very pleased Lenox is expanding. It shows a commitment to Washington County and its existing work force and will provide construction-related jobs in the area," said Tim Troxell, acting executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development announced Friday it is giving Lenox a $150,000 conditional loan toward $7 million worth of equipment for the 500,000-square-foot distribution center, department spokeswoman Alicia Moran said.
The five-year loan with fixed 3 percent interest could be forgiven in part or whole if Lenox meets certain performance criteria, Moran said. That criteria includes the creation of new jobs.
Troxell said the loan amount had been higher when Lenox planned to create 120 jobs but was lowered when Lenox revised its plans.
"I think that the county was very interested in retaining the jobs that were there and making sure that we didn't lose the jobs," Troxell said. "The additional jobs on top are just extra.
"It's wonderful that we're getting any additional jobs out of it."