Minutes to this meeting were released February 15, 2018
Approved: November 15, 2017
Attendees: Dan Carney, Laura Clarke, Phil Dorsey, Tracy Harris, Paul Junge, Phil Langley, Tom Sanders, Michael Schroder, Elizabeth Torgerson, Tom Watts
Staff: Chris Kaselemis, Dana DiGregorio, Adam Mawyer, Katherine Stormont
Absent: Wynne Briscoe, Jamie Raley, Carlos Bravo
Call to Order: Dr. Tracy Harris called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.
1. Minutes of the April 19, 2017 meeting were reviewed. Tom Sanders made a motion to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Daniel Carney and passed unanimously.
ACTION: The minutes of the April 19, 2017 were approved.
Announcements & Discussion:
1. Chris Kaselemis noted the resignation of Richard Braam from the Economic Development Commission as of June 2017. This will leave an opening for the Commission Chair. Chris Kaselemis proposed a Re-Election of Officers based on this new opening. Nominations for Wynne Briscoe for Chair were presented. A motion to approve the nominated members was made by Laura Clarke, The motion was seconded by Tom Sanders and passed unanimously.
A nomination for Elizabeth Torgerson for Vice Chair was presented. A motion toapprove the nominated member was made by Laura Clarke, The motion was seconded by Tom Sanders and passed unanimously.
ACTION: The officers for the remainder of 2017 for the Economic Development Commission were nominated and approved.
2. Chris Kaselemis updated the commission on the status and update of the Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was approved by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and the department is now going to move forward with the implementation of the recommendations. Chris Kaselemis presented the commission with the Strategic Focus Areas that the department will be focusing on and the ongoing programs the department will be working on.
a. SITES & INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT: Adam Mawyer presented to the board regarding sites & infrastructure development. He noted that Emergency Services & Information Technology Department created a GIS tool that works in conjunction with data entered by Economic Development staff regarding county land data and commercial real estate information. This GIS tool will be used assist the department on available sites for potential development in St. Mary’s County.
Chris Kaselemis and Adam Mawyer answered questions and comments posed by the Commission members.
b. BUSINESS FRIENDLY CLIMATE: Chris Kaselemis discussed the Streamlining the Permitting Process Report. Zucker Systems, a California based consulting company to perform a study on St. Mary’s County permitting process. The final report has been posted on the Economic Development website and the department will be working with Land Use & Growth Management and the Department of Public Works & Transportation to begin implementing the recommendations from the report in hope of improving the process and therefore bringing more business to our county.
Chris addressed questions and comments posed by the commission members
c. BRANDING & MESSAGING: Chris Kaselemis discussed the ways we are promoting economic development and business in St. Mary’s County. Chris Kaselemis discussed the Technology Handbook and what a pertinent resource it is to businesses and community members within our county.
Adam Mawyer discussed the UAS Inventory in St. Mary’s County and how that can be a valuable resource to promote.
Adam Mawyer discussed a Drone Racing Event being planned for next year.
Katherine Stormont discussed the Department of Economic Development web site. Ms. Stormont discussed the current website and present a glimpse of the new update web site that is currently under construction and to be launched to the public at a later date.
Chris, Adam and Katherine addressed questions and comments posed by the commission members
d. COST ADVANTAGE/FINANCIAL INCENTIVES: Chris discussed the Property Tax Incentive that the Commission assisted the Department develop and bring to the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County for approval.
e. ENVIRONMENT FOR INNOVATION & START-UPS: Chris Kaselemis gave an update on the Business Incubator being built at the St. Mary’s County Airport.
The Incubator is about 80% complete and Economic Development staff are working to get the site staffed and up and running sometime later this year. Chris addressed questions and comments posed by the commission members.
Adam Mawyer discussed the TedEx Leonardtown “Creating Change Locally”, a SMIT sponsored event, coming up later this month. Chris and Adam addressed questions and comments posed by the commission members
f. QUALITY OF LIFE: Chris Kaselemis discussed what we are working on to promote a better quality of life for current St. Mary’s County residents and potential businesses, visitors and residents. Chris addressed questions and comments posed by the commission members
g. INDUSTRY SPECIFIC INITIATIVE (HOSPITALITY): Chris Kaselemis discussed the Tourism & Hospitality Master Plan suggestion of privatizing the Tourism Division which is being discussed currently. There is also discussion on attaching a percentage of the Accommodation tax to assist funding the Tourism once privatized.
Chris Kaselemis discussed the three (3) county farmers markets – California, Home Grown (south), and Charlotte Hall (north). Due to issues with parking and access the department is working in a new location for the Charlotte Hall Farmers Market. An agreement for a plot of land has been identified and a contract was approved by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County. Chris addressed questions and comments posed by the commission members.
The Next Economic Development Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, 2017, location to be determined at a later date.
1. Laura Clarke made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Tom Sanders and approved unanimously.
Minutes taken by Dana DiGregorio, Sr. Administrative Coordinator, DED