Old Crisfield Cutlery Plant Could Get New Life - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Old Crisfield Cutlery Plant Could Get New Life

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CRISFIELD, Md. - For nearly 50 years, Carvel Hall in Crisfield was known for cranking out cutlery, most notably, steak knives.  That all changed when manufacturing and retail operations ceased in the early 2000s, leaving dozens of workers without a job.

Investment and consulting firm Spangler Strategic Advisors is proposing a plan that would bring the old factory back to life, not as a knife manufacturer, but as a multi-tenant light industrial facility.

On Friday, several Crisfield residents told WBOC that's exactly what the area needs.

"It'd be nice if they could sell it, bring new jobs here because we could use some places to work," said Catherine Tremper, who has lived in Crisfield for 25 years.

Thomas Spangler told WBOC the company envisions the tenants occupying the 70,000 square foot building could be anything from drone manufacturers to fabrication businesses.

As for the sprawling 27-acre exterior space, Spangler suggests companies that work with biomass conversion or solar panels are possibilities.  Spangler says "specialty fertilizer production" would also be an option, something that concerns some residents.

"I think it's good if it'll bring jobs to Crisfield.  But a manure processing plant?  That doesn't sound too good," said Joyce Collins.

Other say the promise of jobs is worth it.

"But if there's no other jobs here, you know, they need something here for people to work cause everyone has to leave town," said Tremper.

"We need all the jobs we can get here. Especially for the young people," said Gary Taylor.

The possibility of the old facility being revived is something Joyce Collins said she wants to believe could happen, but is skeptical given past plans for other developments.

 "They were talking about a warehouse or whatever it was, that was supposed to open up a few years back and it never happened," said Collins.  "They're always saying stuff but it never seems to happen."

Options for the site are limited given contamination issues.  In 2011, the state of Maryland found elevated levels of metals and solvents in the soil and groundwater.  Spangler said if the city approves their option agreement, the company plans to spend at least a year evaluating those issues.

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