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Vendors might operate on Mack property

February 16, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County and state economic development agencies will work with Mack Trucks Inc. to determine whether an industrial park consisting of Mack Trucks suppliers and other businesses would be a good fit near on the company's campus north of Hagerstown.

Timothy R. Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, told the County Commissioners of the plans on Tuesday.

The industrial park, also known as a "vendor village" would be built on 100 acres behind the Hagerstown plant near Interstate 81, Troxell said.

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"The parties believe that this property is prime for attracting vendors and suppliers that support Mack Trucks and possibly other manufacturing firms within Washington County," according to information Troxell submitted to the commissioners.

The EDC and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development first plan to hire a civil engineering firm to determine whether building such a center would be feasible.

The study will take into account the costs associated with site planning and development and traffic and environmental impacts, among other factors.

The commissioners voted unanimously to contribute $7,500 toward the cost of the $25,000 study. The rest of the cost would be paid for by the state, Troxell said.

But while Mack Trucks supports the study, Troxell said there's no guarantee it would sign off on a final construction plan.

He said it was too early to say how many jobs might be created if a vendor village were built.

Commissioner John C. Munson said he was concerned that a vendor village would take up most of Mack's remaining land at the Hagerstown plant.

"I don't want them some day saying we need to expand, and there's no room," Munson said.

Troxell said that's an issue that would probably be looked at in the study.

News of a possible vendor village was publicized when AB Volvo officials announced plans in October 2003 to house its North American Volvo powertrain production operations at the local Mack Trucks campus.

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