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County holds public hearing for ordinance regarding Brownfield Revitalization Incentive Program

by GEOFF FOX

There are approximately 21 active brownfield sites in Washington County, with Genuine Parts at 100 Rayloc Drive in Hancock being one of those sites. According to the state’s Brownfield Master Inventory (BMI) the ID number for the location is MD0350.

A brownfield is defined as a real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. That definition, however, is very broad and covers many types of properties.

The incentive would provide a unique opportunity for the county to meet economic developmental goals, environmental protection and sustainability goals, and help achieve the county’s comprehensive plan visions and objectives.

Eligible sites would earn a 50% property tax credit on the increase of county and/or municipal real property tax. That percentage would be the difference between the pre-remediation and post-remediation tax assessment.

Those brownfields located with an Enterprise Zone may receive the tax credit for up to 10 years with properties outside those zone receiving the credit for five years.

Director of Business Development Susan Small addressed county officials during the July 28 county commissioners meeting in Hagerstown.

Small said there could be more sites added to the 21 sites currently added in the future.

While there is a superfund site in the county, Small said these brownfields sites are not to be confused with those sites, however these could be one in the same but this does not recognize them.

The comment period for this was up on Monday, August 3.

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