Officials present mixed picture of local economy

March 11, 2003

Federal and state officials outlined a mixed economic picture for Western Maryland at a conference in Hagerstown Monday:

  • Gov. Robert Ehrlich will continue the Smart Growth initiatives instituted by Gov. Parris N. Glendening's administration. The program promoted centralized development intended to ease traffic as well as stress on the environment.

  • "Major national firms" are looking to locate to Hagerstown, drawn by the accessibility of Interstates 81 and 70.

  • The Appalachian Regional Commission, a federally funded agency that grants money to counties in 13 states, including the three western-most counties in Maryland, may lose half its funding in the next federal funding cycle: Its proposed budget is $33 million, down from this year's approved $66 million.

Western Maryland average household income levels in 2002:

Maryland: $53,530

Washington County: $44,450

Garrett County: $34, 700

Allegany County: $33,300


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