Incentives may be offered to cement deal with Saks

September 03, 1995|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writer

The Harford County Council is being asked to bait the hook that will lure the Saks Fifth Avenue department store chain to build a $36 million distribution center on U.S. 40 in Aberdeen.

A resolution and a proposed law to benefit Saks will be introduced Tuesday night at the council meeting. The resolution calls for a $3 million loan-grant. The law would authorize the county to credit $625,000 against Saks' real estate tax bill at $125,000 a year during the next five years.

In return, Saks would promise to bring 250 jobs to Harford upon completion of the distribution center next year, with an additional 200 jobs coming to the county in 1997.

George Harrison, a spokesman for County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, said Friday that the deal to bring Saks to Harford is "nearly complete" and that the tax credits and loan-grant are necessary to complete the deal.

The $3 million in loan-grant money would come from state economic development funds, according to the resolution. The loan would amount to $2.5 million and the grant, $500,000.

But if Saks has at least 375 employees in Maryland within two years of opening the distribution center, $2 million then would become a grant, with the remainder becoming a loan that Saks would have to repay.

The 470,000-square-foot distribution center would be built in the Hickory Ridge Industrial Park on U.S. 40 next to the Frito-Lay Co. plant.

In other matters Tuesday, the council will:

* Have fire officials explain the Aug. 24 tire fire at Mullins Landfill near Aberdeen.

* Honor the mayor of Aberdeen, Charles Boutin, for his work in helping to establish a Cal Ripken Museum. The museum is to open by next baseball season.

* Consider a resolution that calls for charging cellular telephone owners the same 911 fee that ordinary telephone customers are charged. Zoe Piendak, the council secretary, said that charge is 50 cents per month.

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