Queen Anne’s County has been chosen as the preferred site to be home to a new federal Foreign Affairs Security Training Center. Congressman Frank Kratovil cheered the decision, along with Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin. The new 1,250-acre training center would be located at the Hunt Ray Farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Kratovil says the new facility would immediately create hundreds of construction jobs and support 500 new full-time positions once completed. Kratovil says the next step involves negotiations between the General Services Administration and owners of the property for the acquisition of the property.
Eric Wargotz, a Queen Anne’s County commissioner, said a committee of citizens and county staff should be formed to make recommendations on traffic, emergency services and other issues that need to be addressed if the federal government goes through with its plan to build a huge training center in Ruthsburg for security personnel who work at foreign embassies. Wargotz said he was “very disappointed in our federal agencies and federal officials” because they did not hold a public meeting before they selected a site. He said the county cannot be a bystander in the development process if the planned project gets built at Hunt Ray Farm. Wargotz said county officials need to know how the federal government will deal with the deed-restricted open space on the Hunt Ray Farm property. Wargotz said the citizen-staff task force could make recommendations to the county commissioners on safety enhancements, road improvements, and what can be done to best preserve the county’s quality of life. He said the federal government “should foot the bill” for needed improvements.