The five defeated incumbents on the Baltimore County Council last night voted to help attract a research firm -- and 300 new jobs -- to Catonsville.
It was the council's last official meeting under the outgoing administration of County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen.
The 5-2 vote on the Catonsville project authorizes the county to spend $300,000 for site improvements for a proposed 85,000-square-foot office building on the campus of the University of Maryland Baltimore County just off Interstate 95.
The county is looking to the state to put up $3 million more for roads, sewers and utility connections.
Dick Story, director of the county's economic development commission, said the firm, a research and development arm of a major national corporation, would construct a two-story building on a six-acre site and hire 300 people to staff it, if the improvements were made.
Story said that in the future new office buildings on the UMBC campus would be much cheaper to build because there would be no major infrastructure costs. He said the proposed 80-acre research and development park at UMBC could accommodate 10 to 12 buildings, providing up to 2,000 jobs.
Council chairman Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-3rd, who was re-elected to a new four-year term, wanted to table the measure, saying the decision should be left to the new administration. He and Councilman Melvin Mintz, D-2nd, the other incumbent who was re-elected, voted against the measure.
The land for the proposed research park was rezoned for industrial use two years ago. It is on the southernmost tip of the campus along Rolling Road and near I-95. Neither Story nor Councilman Ronald B. Hickernell, D-1st, would reveal the name of the firm affected by the measure, but Hickernell termed it a "major find."
Also last night, the five council members who lost in the Nov. 6 election, said their public goodbyes. They are William R. Evans, D-6th; Hickernell; Barbara F. Bachur, D-4th; Norman W. Lauenstein, D-5th, and Dale T. Volz, D-7th.
The current council has one informal meeting remaining, a work session next week to which the new members also have been invited.
The new members are to be sworn in before the new council meets on Dec. 3.