Economic Development Report Talbot County, Maryland.
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Economic Development ReportTalbot County, Maryland
Data Base Resources used for this report: 2005 US Census Tract Updates, Maryland Departments of Labor, Economic Development, and Assessment and Taxation, Talbot County Departments of Planning and Zoning, GIS, and Finance. Compiled September 2007 by the Talbot County Department of Economic Development
Talbot County Economic Development www.talbotcountymd.gov
Director, Paige R. Bethke 410-770-8058
Talbot County fronts the Chesapeake Bay and is located midway down the Delmarva Peninsula, a 6,057 square mile area just east of metropolitan Washington DC, referred to locally as Maryland’s Eastern Shore or, as we refer to it: The Environmental Peninsula. Talbot County is 279 square miles which includes four major river systems and over 600 miles of waterfront shoreline. Its land and adjacent waters support forests, agriculture and seafood processing activities which have historically formed the County's economic base.
Development of Talbot County began in the mid 1600s with the arrival of merchants and explorers from England who established the Port of Oxford as the first Capital in America. Talbot County remains predominantly rural in character, with approximately 60% of the total County population clustered around the Town of Easton. The Town of Easton was established to serve as the County seat in the mid 1860’s. The 2006 estimated population of Easton is 14,666 which now serves as a regional hub for financial, commercial and medical services to the Mid-Shore area.
Talbot County’s population of 36,062 has steadily increased at 1.4% per year for the last 25 years. The County economy has remained healthy, attributed to revenues generated by real estate transfer and recordation taxes. The economy reflects a diversified industrial base of agriculture, manufacturing production, commercial trade, professional services and medical/healthcare supported by seven industrial parks and an employment base of 19,295 workers. The Shore Health System merged with the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2005 and is the largest employer in the County. The Easton Airport, a General Aviation Airport located at the north entrance to town, is the second busiest airport in Maryland.
Talbot County is centrally located on the Delmarva Peninsula, a 6,057 square mile body of land surrounded on three sides by the Chesapeake Bay, the Delaware Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. We refer to it as the Environmental Peninsula.
Talbot County is bounded by the Choptank River and Dorchester County to the south, Caroline County to the east, Queen Anne’s County and the Wye River to the north, and the Chesapeake Bay to the west.
Within close proximity to the Baltimore/Washington DC Metropolitan market, Talbot County is accessible to major Mid Atlantic cities and international airports and ports.
U.S. Route 50 serves as a major North/South transportation corridor for the Delmarva Peninsula and bisects Talbot County N/S. US Route 301 is a major truck transport corridor linking Wilmington, DE. with points north and Washington D.C. with points south.
Highway Distances from Easton:
Baltimore, MD59 miles
Washington DC73 miles
Wilmington, DE65 miles
Newport News207 miles
New York, NY195 miles
Civilian Labor Base20,04619,12816,880
Net Job Gains 450 860
Unemployment Rate 3.8% 3.6%
County Based Employers 1,735 1,700
Less than $25,000 26.6%20.3 % 27.6%
$25,000 to $49,900 33.5%31.3% 34.2%
$50,000 to $74,99919.7 % 23.3 % 20.3%
$75,000 and over20.2% 25.1% 17.9%
Average Household Income $62,879$61,807$52,506
Median Household Income $42,126$48,803$40,529
Per Capita $26,880$23,340 $19,779
Graduate rate for high school seniors 84.4%
Enter the workforce upon graduation 17.2%
Go on to Higher Education77.4%
4 year Bachelors degree or higher education 27.8% of total population
Representation of the distribution of population be average wealth in Talbot County.
The least populated areas of Talbot County are also the poorest: extreme east area and the western area contain one fifth of the total population with average income below $20,000. The majority of the land is used for agriculture.
The central area of the County contains the majority of the population with 22,155 people who have an average income from $26,450 to $32,500.
1,735 Private Non-Farm Reporting Units (Businesses) in Talbot County. The majority of the businesses employ 49 workers or less. The 20 largest employers include health care services, manufacturing, professional services and national retail/consumer goods operations.
Existing Manufacturing Base includes: Printed Materials (Cadmus Journal Services); Pharmaceuticals (Konsyl); Pharmaceutical Packaging (Celeste Industries); Environmental Sciences (Wildlife International, Environmental Concerns); Instruments (Jasco); Technologies (L3/BAI, SpecTIR, Axis GeoSpatial,); Food Processing (Allen Family Foods and Seawatch.); Metal Fabricators (Whalen, Salisbury Pewter and SFA); Wood Products (Johnson Logging)
Cooperative Oxford NOAA Lab – National Center for Coastal Oceanic Science,
Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Bimolecular Research –
Collocated with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the US Coast Guard Station
Chesapeake College and Higher Education CenterAA Degree Program
Salisbury University, Salisbury3,500 students BA/BS MS Degree Programs
University of Maryland Eastern Shore 1,700 students BA/BS Degree Programs
Washington College 800 studentsBA Degree Programs
UMMS/SHS Medical Facilities: serves the Upper Shore with the Memorial Hospital at Easton and major medical facilities. Employs 1,700 workers with $161 Million in Net Operating Revenues (FY 06).
Horn Point Center for Environment Studies: University of Maryland Research Facility with newly expanded Lecture and Conference Facility, operates an internationally recognized Oyster Incubator and Seed Program for Chesapeake Bay
CBRTCE Chesapeake Bay Regional Technical Center for Excellence:
Promotes technology based business development for the Eastern Shore Region. Federal and State Laboratory technology transfer resources and Higher Education Institution partnerships to promote technology development.
Wye Institute and Research and Education Center: University of MarylandAgriculture Research
Center; U MD Black Angus Cattle Genetic Research Center; Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Program
Wallops/NASA Space Flight Center
Easton Utilities Commission
The Town of Easton, Easton Utilities Commission operates as an enterprise and provides electricity, water, wastewater treatment, natural gas, cable television, internet and advertising services for the Town of Easton. Most recently, the Town invested $36 Million to provide for the expansion to the existing wastewater sewer treatment facility expected to support development requirements in Easton through 2030.
Delmarva Power ( PEPCO) and Choptank Electric Cooperative provide electric service to Talbot County
Municipal Water/Wastewater Sewage Systems
The Towns of, Oxford, St. Michaels, Trappe and Tilghman have County owned and operated wastewater treatment systems. The County continues to invest in new technologies and programs to reduce nitrogen levels of septic systems and to encourage current homeowners to maintain septic systems in good operating order.
Talbot County is served by Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company/Chesapeake Utilities. A major expansion to the natural gas service is in progress to provide expanded capacity.
The Mid-Shore Regional Council has teamed with the Lower Shore Tri County Council and the Upper Shore Regional Council and the Southern Maryland Cooperative to form a Broadband Cooperative which will connect the Patuxent River Naval Air Command (located in Lexington Park, Maryland) and the NASA Wallops Space Flight Center (located in Chincoteague, Virginia) and provide the backhaul for high speed fiber service to much of the Eastern Shore, including rural areas of Talbot County.
Single Family Improved Residential ParcelsTalbot County reports 30,273 acres of residential land use out of a total 171,000 total acres (November 2006). Maryland Department of Planning demonstrates that over a 13 year period, Talbot County contained growth within PFA’s
Talbot County has enforced restrictions on residential development in the rural and environmentally sensitive areas of the County
Most of the housing demand to the Priority Funding Areas (PFA’s) or Towns.
This has resulted in an inflation of land prices throughout the County. Given the amount of waterfront land
The attraction to waterfront properties and small villages on the west side of Route 50 cater to the affluent while the east side of Route 50 offers affordable housing product with all the amenities that the Town of Easton and other small towns offer. Relatively low tax rates and public investments in infrastructure supports a desirable place to live.
Talbot County Housing Status
2006 Talbot County Housing17,100 SFR Units
2000 Occupied Households 14,307 SFR Units
Vacant 2,193 SFR Units
Owner Occupied10,244 SFR Units
Renter Occupied 4,063 SFR Unit
Seasonal 1,104 SFR Units
Migrant 7 SFR Units
Historic Easton has contracted AKRF and Street Works to provide a Downtown Revitalization Plan. Much of that infill is expected to be occupied with young people entering the job markets, two income relocating families and early retirees.
Several mixed use projects are in the planning stages for Downtown Easton. The Stewart Building will offer mixed use office retail and Harrison’s Flower Shop will become retail and market.
Historic Tidewater Inn, located in downtown Easton recently experienced a $10 Million investment in restoration and renovation
The Avalon Foundation promotes live venues at the historic Avalon Theater. The St. Michael's Maritime Museum hosts traditional maritime related events.
Events bring thousands of visitors to the area every year.
Waterfowl Festival November
Academy of Arts Plein AirJuly
Easton Population Growth
2000 Census 11,708
1/1/06 Easton Population14,666
1/1/07 Easton Population14,863
Growth Rate 1.34% per year
Talbot County records a total 171,000 acres for use in the 279 square miles of its jurisdiction.
Agriculture land use
Operating Farms 280
Average Farm 367 acres
Total Ag Parcels 2,150
Talbot County Agriculture Production Contributed $55,611,000 to the County economy (2005)
Talbot County Agriculture Visioning Plan:
A draft plan has been compiled by the Talbot County community that addresses the sustainable requirements of Talbot County’s agriculture base including large grain farms, poultry and mid size farm operations, small niche farms and resources based agriculture.
Sustaining a working landscape of grain and specialty crop farming that continues to define our quality of life and serves as an asset …
Expand marketing efforts with regional brands that identify our agriculture products with quality, freshness, health and food safety
Diversify grain agriculture with alternative crops for bio-fuel and energy production
Provide community support, economic assistance
Enhance environmental quality by expanding cost share programs
Total Acreage in Commercial Use 3,185 acres
Total Commercial Parcels 1,332 parcels
Total Acreage in Industrial Use 485 acres
Total Industrial Parcels 68 parcels
6 Industrial Parks in Town of Easton
1 Commercial /Industrial Park in Talbot County
Easton Technology Center
Phase I complete Phase II/III 65 acres available
1.46 to 2.65 acre sites @ $141,500 per acre
Clifton Industrial Park is the most recent annexation into the Town of Easton.
ProjectTotal sq ft Completion
Panera Bread20,000 sq. ft.June 08
Country Inn and Suites 60,000 sq. ft.October 08
Gillis Gilkerson Projects
MU Office/Res Dover St 7,600 sq. ft.October 07
Medical Office Space 22,000 sq. Ft.June 08
Talbot Commerce Park
Building Supply16,000 sq. ft.February 08
Soil Conservation Building20,000 sq ftJune 08
Orthopedic Center 5,000 sq. ft.December 07
Emergency Pavilion 20,000 sq. ft. New
$30 Million Project 20,000 sq. ft. ReuseJanuary 08
New Lowes168,000 sq. ft.December 08
Belk’s Department 70,000 sq. ft. ReuseDecember 08
Waterside Village330,000 sq. ft.
Target130,000 sq. ft.March 08
2 MU Office/Retail 50,000 sq. ft.March 08
Chili’s, Pet Smart
Chevy Chase Bank,
National Shoe Brands
Cadmus Journal Services, publisher medical and scientific journals merged with Cenveo (Mar 07) 3rd largest graphics company in N A. Expansion of new web press and retention of 260 workers
Konsyl Pharmaceutical Inc., manufacturer of prescription digestive system products owned by ICC Industries, Inc. has agreement with the 2nd largest drug store chain in China
JASCO North America, NA Headquarters for Japanese parent, JASCO International, Assembly and distribution of spectrometers and analytical equipment
Wildlife International, expands operations to accommodate European requirements for endocrine disruption testing. 15,000 sq. ft of lab space and 30 Biologists/PhD’s Retains base of 97 workers
SFA, Defense Products Division, an ISO 9001: 2000 certified manufacturer of rugged mobile support systems for US Government,
Awarded an 8 year, $145 Million Department of Defense Contract with Aberdeen Proving Grounds
Allen Family Foods, 3rd largest producer of poultry products in the nation retains 550 job sat the Cordova facility
UMMS/SHS, largest employer in Talbot County, has completed 40,000 sq ft Emergency Pavilion for Memorial Hospital at Easton. Considering a $200 Million Regional Medical Facility to be built in the next 10 years.
Second busiest airport in the State of Maryland (behind Thurgood Marshal/BWI) with an average of 438 operations per day.
Revenues of $52 Million (FY 2006).
Easton Airport supports 13 businesses with an employment base of 150 employees.
$12 Million in infrastructure improvements and upgrades made available from FAA/MTA and Talbot County. The projects construction of an Air Traffic Control Tower completed October 2007.
Several dignitaries and government officials fly into Easton Airport weekly to spend time at residences in Talbot County. This mandates that the airport, the County and the Town maintain the highest levels of security in keeping with Homeland Security requirements and specifications.
Talbot County serves as the Regional Hub for the Mid-Shore,
an area five times its population located in a 25 mile radius from downtown Easton.
Talbot County provides regional commercial, financial and medical servicestothe Mid-Shore area serving a population of approximately 160,000 which is expected to reach 170,000 by 2010.
Through progressive zoning legislation and comprehensive planning,
Talbot County has directed development to the Priority Funding Areas and retains the majority of its land use for agriculture, sustaining an environmental balance.
Talbot County’s economy is supported by a diverse industry sector base which provides for near full employment currently 3.8% unemployment and a growth in technology jobs.
Economic drivers include:
a major General Aviation Airport,
a Regional Hospital with medical services
an industrial base attracting an in migration of workers
280 large grain farm operations
Resources and opportunities exist to expand the industrial base of the County with investment in additional infrastructure and the support of workforce development programs.
Environmental Technologies: Toxicology, Sensors, Modeling, Simulation, GIS applications
Medical Services: Pharmaceuticals, secured Biotech, Pharmaceutical Packaging, Medical Devices
Information Technologies: Data Analysis, Network Design, Software Applications, Logistics,
Agriculture Production: Plant and Animal based products and technologies
Aviation: General Aviation Services