State, county and 4 banks join to finance Marada's effort to expand

September 02, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- The state, county and four local banks are working together to provide financing to help Marada Industries Inc. open a new building by January to handle work on new contracts from General Motors and Chrysler.

Marada, an auto-parts maker at the Air Business Park, needs to start operations at the new manufacturing facility in January to meet the demands from four new contracts, said Russell A. Sellman, chairman of the county's Industrial Development Authority [IDA].

The IDA is a private, non-profit arm of the Board of County Commissioners that works to promote industrial growth.

Marada's expansion is expected to create between 75 and 105 jobs, Marada General Manager Kenneth B. Jacobs said.

The 40,000-square-foot building, planned on an 80-acre parcel across Route 97 from the Air Business Park, would cost about $1.75 million, Mr. Sellman said.

The parties still were negotiating yesterday, but they had agreed that the state would contribute a $750,000 low-interest loan, the four banks would lend the company $750,000 and the county would contribute up to $250,000 toward water and sewer and roads costs, he said.

"The object is to try to generate good industrial business development for the county," Mr. Sellman said. Negotiations have been speeded up because Marada needs to begin work on the building soon, he said.

Last spring the company received contracts to make beams for truck and minivan doors for 1994 models. Three of the contracts are with GM and one is with Chrysler. Marada, which also makes parts for Volkswagen, Honda and Jeep, currently employs 220 people at Westminster.

The four bank presidents said they have worked together on other projects that they believe will benefit the community.

The banks are competitive, "but we do tend to come together for community projects and pool our resources," said Thomas K. Ferguson, president of the Carroll County Bank and Trust Co.

The banks -- Carroll County Bank, Taneytown Bank and Trust Co., Union National Bank and Westminster Bank and Trust -- will contribute equally to the $750,000 loan, he said. The interest rate was not set yesterday.

The state's loan would come to the county through the Maryland Industrial Land Act Program [MILA], which operates under the state Department of Economic and Employment Development and provides loans to counties to help develop industrial buildings.

James R. Gatto, director of the state's community financing group, said the MILA program likely will lend Carroll $750,000 at around 6 percent interest.

The state can make loans only for projects built on county land, so Marada's Canadian-based parent company, Magna International, would have to convey part of the 80-acre parcel to Carroll, he said.

"The key is the loan package is created for Carroll County to lease space to Marada resulting in jobs and an increased tax base," Mr. Gatto said. Although the agreement is not final, it likely will include a provision allowing Marada to buy the building in five years, Mr. Gatto said.

Mr. Sellman said the county originally hoped to receive a $1.5 million loan from MILA. When the state said it could loan only half that amount, Mr. Sellman said he suggested asking the county's banks for assistance.

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