FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) for the Agricultural Business Park and Food Innovation CenterĀ 

Who will hold title?
SB 909 allows any county (or combination of counties) in Southern Maryland*, the Maryland Food Center Authority, or another entity, as determined by the Tri-County Council, that is authorized to finance or purchase property. It is hoped that SMADC will form an entity that can hold title, at which point the Center property title will be transferred to this new entity.

* Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s counties

Where are the funds coming from?
The Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund comes from the 1998 settlement between 46 states and 11 major tobacco companies.

In 1999, the Tri-County Council’s (TCC) Strategic Plan for Agriculture was adopted and provided a justification for the establishment of SMADC and the Cigarette Restitution Funds of Maryland to be channeled to Southern Maryland to help transition the region from a tobacco-based economy. Maryland pledged up to 5% of its Cigarette Restitution Fund to help transition the farm communities of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s County region for this purpose.

This has provided the majority of the funds for SMADC’s programs and is a source of major initial funding for the Center. SMADC intends to pursue additional sources of public and private funds to support the project.

Will it be self-sustaining?
Our business plan includes lease rates for the public and/or private enterprises that will operate the various components. These rates will pay back the cost of the infrastructure over 20 years through a sinking fund. Our business plan shows the Center can be self-sustaining within 4-5 years of operation.