SYKESVILLE — The developers of the Raincliffe Center industrial complex Monday night asked the Town Council to send its approval for the project to the state in order to get a $1.5 million loan package approved.
David W. Moxley, project manager for the developer, Security Enterprises Inc. of Ellicott City, Howard County, told the council that the stateis confused about the town's interest in the project.
"The state wants approval from the town," he said. "I've been told the application might be acted upon in two weeks, but the final decision rests with the town."
Newspaper reports from the December Town Council meeting left Gov. William Donald Schaefer confused as to whether or not the town really is interested in proceeding with the plan, Moxley said. Schaefer even placed classified ads in local newspapers seeking input on the project, he added.
"It might help get theloan approved if a letter were sent to the state," Moxley stressed, asking all council members to sign it.
If the governor is confusedabout the town's interest in the project, Sykesville equally is confused about the conditions of the loan, Town Manager James L. Schumacher said.
"No one knows what the details of the loan are," he said."We don't know what the terms are, the interest rate, the security of Moxley's group on the loan, things like that.
"We should not be required to give final approval on the loan until we have all that information."
After discussion, the council voted to send a letter to the governor supporting the project "in concept" and the loan "in principle."
"It's difficult to say you support something if you can't see the end product," Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. said. After some grumbling about why all the council members had to sign the letter, Helturged them to show their support and sign the letter so it could go out as soon as possible.
Following the vote to send the letter, Councilman Charles "Tim" Ferguson still expressed reservations "the governor is going to take it as a commitment -- he's going to read more into it than we feel."
Security Enterprises plans to develop the 32-acre tract at Route 32 and Raincliffe Road into an industrial-retail park.
The developer had asked the town to take part in administering the $1.5 million state and county loan package that is expected to finance half the project.
While the project would stand to increase the town's tax base and create new jobs, the town would be liable for repayment of the loans in the event of default.
The loan package would consist of $750,000 from the Maryland Industrial Commercial Redevelopment Fund, $500,000 from the Maryland Industrial Land Act and $250,000 from the Carroll Department of Economic and Community Development.
Construction of the project is expected to get under way this spring and be completed by the end of the year. The center would include 200,000 square feet of industrial space and 100,000 squarefeet for commercial use.