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Attending trade fairs in the region may be a good way to attract business to the county, James C. Threatte told members of the county's Economic Development Commission on Wednesday.

Threatte, director of the county Department of Economic and Community Development, said he and staff member Eileen Fisher attended a biotechnology business fair Tuesday in Washington and talked with two companies that showed an interest in locating in the county.

"Technological industries are the future of Carroll County," he said.

He and Fisher talked to two companies at the trade fair that want to expand, but he said he could not reveal the companies' names.

Threatte suggested that members of the EDC marketing committee attend trade shows in the area.

James Booth of Black & Decker Inc. in Hampstead, chairman of the marketing committee, said the committee heard a presentation by Mary Rowley of the Greater Baltimore Committee about that group's efforts to promote the area.

Booth suggested that the EDC invite Rowley to speak to the commission as a whole.

Staff member William E. Jenne reported that the commission's interagency committee is concerned that it takes too long to rezone land in the county.

The committee is learning about the process and will hear a presentation by a member of the county's planning department at its next meeting, he said.

One of the committee's concerns is that county departments consider economic development issues when making policy decisions, Jenne said.

In other business: * Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown requested that he and the mayors of the seven other municipalities in the county be appointed as ex-officio members of the EDC.

Before it was reorganized and expanded this year, the commission included a number of municipal representatives. The current board is made up primarily of representatives from a range of businesses.

"Since one of the keys to economic development within the county is the attitude of cooperation and initiative within the municipalities, I believe it is essential that every town be plugged into the EDC," Brown said.

EDC chairman Lloyd B. Thomas said the executive committee would consider the request at its next meeting. Town mayors are a good source of information for the commission, he said.

* Threatte suggested that the county consider alternative ways to finance new roads, such as toll roads, so as not to be so dependent on state financing.

He said he had talked with a Maryland developer who said he would consider building a toll road in Carroll "under the right conditions."

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