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Contractor moving into business park

July 14, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

daniels@herald-mail.com

A Myersville, Md.-based electrical contractor with ties to Washington County is in the process of moving his 50-member firm's headquarters to the Washington County Business Park.

Clinton "Skip" Staggers, a Hagerstown resident and president of MEC Inc., said after three years scouting sites in Frederick and Washington counties he selected a 5.2-acre property at 221 McRand Court.

"We see Washington County as a huge growth area. In the next 15 years, they are going to explode. Land is being purchased like its gold," he said. "The driving thing was the cost of the land. I think it was a terrific deal."

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After working with officials from the City of Hagerstown, Washington County and the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, Staggers bought the land for $270,000 in February, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Web site.

Grading work started at the site June 1 and is nearly complete, Staggers said. Construction of the 26,000-square-foot building is planned to be completed by February. MEC will use about 11,000 square feet for its operations, Staggers said, and the remainder will be leased for either office, warehouse or light manufacturing. The project is expected to cost about $3 million, including electrical work, which Staggers said he expects his own firm will do.

Having served as a subcontractor for projects of the same scope and larger, Staggers said overseeing the work has not been as challenging is it might have been because of the assistance of Washington County and Hagerstown officials.

"So far it's been a little stressful, but, overall, very pleasant," Staggers said. "I really can't speak enough for the Washington County people and the City of Hagerstown people."

Timothy R. Troxell, executive director of the EDC, said it would have taken longer to advance the project if MEC needed to be annexed by the City of Hagerstown for public water and sewer service, though the contractor did not need to be annexed in order to tap into the system. That was one of the issues he helped MEC explore before Staggers' decision to move the firm here.

"We started working with Skip back in February of 2004 when we found out the company was looking to move a little bit further out of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area," Troxell said. "Obviously, any time we're bringing in new business and the potential for new jobs in the county is a big deal."

Staggers said MEC employs about 49 or 50 workers, many of whom live in the Washington County area. The company has worked on several projects in the county including Eastern Elementary School, Coffman Nursing Home and Comfort Suites Hagerstown. Its current projects include additions to the Hampton Inn in Maugansville and St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, as well as a larger, ongoing project at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

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