ANNAPOLIS – Delegate LeRoy Myers, representing western Washington and eastern Allegany counties, chaired a meeting in Annapolis Wednesday organized to pursue the concept of developing high tech jobs in the state’s western region while increasing the state’s ability to lure companies to the state’s technology corridor in Montgomery County.
Delegate Myers stated, “I hope to see the development of a program in which tech companies are awarded tax credits and preferences on state bids for choosing to locate a piece of their company in Western Maryland when they choose Maryland’s tech corridor as their primary site.
“This program would greatly benefit Western Maryland, while helping increase the number of tech companies locating in our technology corridor of I-270. Tax credits coupled with preferences on state bids make for a very attractive package.”
At the meeting, Delegate Myers suggested that the program be piloted in Cumberland, located in Allegany County, due to the wireless opportunities that exist in that rural community.
Conxx, a private company, operates a wireless system similar to Allconet that is marketed to the private sector. The cutting edge technology found in this system makes the city of Cumberland the logical choice to target initially in this program, Delegate Myers stated.
Allconet II provides a virtually unlimited IP space and any and all Internet services including DNS/RDNS, SLAPD, POP/IMAP, NNTP and hosting services. The technology provides last mile connectivity for local facilities to tier one providers and local ISP's at lower costs than traditional local loop technologies, according to the company’s website.
John Cahill, head of DBED’s technology arm, as well DBED western regional directors Vickie Swink and Renee Bone attended the meeting, as did Jeff Rhodes, an official with the city of Cumberland. Also in attendance were Dale Sams and Janet Kemmet, members of the Cumberland Economic Development Marketing Committee.
Conxx Board President Paul Henriod and Chief Technology Officer Jeff Blank attended to explain the Allconet II system capabilities, and discuss potential Cumberland locations for high tech businesses.
John Cahill noted that Allegany County plans to begin construction of a business park aimed at tech companies, called ABC@FSU, on the Frostburg State University campus in the spring, though more technology infrastructure is needed to make the park a true tech site.
The Conxx officials pointed out that, while the park near FSU will prove useful down the road, currently a site exists within the Riverside Industrial Park in Cumberland in which high tech companies could find a full package of technology infrastructure “second to none in the state.”
Delegate Myers agreed to convene a second meeting with city, county, state and Conxx officials to discuss the development of the Riverside site as soon as possible.
“I think what we have in Riverside is a gem that we need to tap immediately in bringing well paying tech jobs to Allegany County,” Delegate Myers stated. “I think Allegany County’s Commissioners will be thrilled to get behind something that the county and city could use right now in the competitive world of economic development.
“And at the state level, I will continue to pursue a program providing incentives for tech companies to consider a Western Maryland location. This is about good paying jobs within an industry that is only going to grow. It’s a win for everyone.”