The Latest News from County Executive Jan Gardner
Frederick Co. Leads State in Job Growth Projections
Frederick County is leading the way in job growth! We are expected to add new jobs at the fastest rate in Maryland, at 9.2% by 2024, according to recent projections from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. It's great news that shows we have built a strong economy that will carry us into the future.
IT and technology fields are expected to see significant growth, and we are poised to take advantage of this opportunity. Root, a county-owned business and innovation center in downtown Frederick, is being renovated to add a business incubator focused on IT start-ups and tech businesses.
Look at how our economy has grown in just two short years:
- Frederick County added more than 4,000 jobs across nine different industry sectors.
- For the first time ever, the number of jobs in the county topped 100,000.
- Our unemployment rate remains below 4%, lower than both the state and national rates.
- Our commercial vacancy rate is at a five-year low.
- Investment in commercial & industrial projects so far this year stands at nearly $143 million -- more than double the investment during the same period in 2014.
Clearly, Frederick County is a great place to do business. We mean business in Frederick County!
Preserving & Conserving Our Forests
After seeing mass grading and tree removal, many have asked me what the County is doing to protect our forests.
Forests reduce storm run-off, and they clean sediment and other pollution, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, out of the rainwater before it reaches our creeks and streams. Frederick County is required to lower nitrogen and phosphorous levels in our waterways. That's why I am proposing legislation to improve the preservation and conservation of Frederick County's forests and tree canopy as our county develops and grows.
My legislation restores longstanding requirements that had been weakened under the prior administration. For instance, I am asking to bring back the requirement that for every acre of forest cleared, an acre of forest has to be planted in its place. Carroll County has a similar 1:1 ratio requirement in place today. If Frederick County still had the 1:1 ratio in place, the development near Oakdale High School would have been required to plant 82 acres of forest to replace the 82 acres that were cleared. Instead, they were required to do nothing - no mitigation at all!
Frederick County has lost an average of 420 acres of forest each year. Between 2001 and 2015, more than 6,200 acres of tree canopy were lost to clearing, insects and disease.
My goal is to conserve and protect our forests to ensure Frederick County's long-term bright future.
Click here to read more about my Forest Resource Ordinance proposal.
Did you know...?
Learn more about this in my op-ed.