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Garrett economic development director steps down

December 24th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports that Michael Koch, executive director of the Garrett County Department of Planning and Community Development, has submitted his letter of resignation to be effective March 31, according to Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator. “My two-year tenure in county government has been quite fulfilling,” said Koch, who is co-owner and board president of FireFly Farms. “I am very proud of what has been accomplished, and the current state of the county’s economy, financial condition and business development environment. Now, it is time to return my focus to FireFly Farms, my own successful and expanding county business.”

Pagenhardt, who spoke with Koch at length about his decision, stated that “it was certainly a difficult and well thought-out decision.”

Koch replaced former director Jim Hinebaugh, who retired in 2012. Hinebaugh is currently a county commissioner.

The Department of Planning and Community Development will be restructured so that the offices of Planning and Land Management, Economic Development, and Permits and Inspection Services will be reorganized into three separate departments, according to Pagenhardt.

Deborah Carpenter, who is the assistant director of the Office of Planning and Land Development, will be promoted to director. James Torrington, who is assistant director of the Office of Permits and Inspection Services will be reassigned as director. The process to seek applicants for the director of the Department of Economic Development will commence in January.

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