Former CM Metals Gettysburg Foundry property, Cumberland Township, Adams County

Brooms, sweeping out the corners of our homes. Curtains, freshly washed and rehung. Spring cleaning is a time to open the windows, let in spring breezes and rid our homes of winter’s dust.

Here at the Alliance, we are embarking upon a massive spring-cleaning project as well—at the former CM Metals Gettysburg Foundry property. There’s a lot happening behind-the-scenes, but let me first set the scene:

Every year we send out a call to the community, seeking Investors. That’s what we call our annual members who support the Alliance’s mission. Those who respond are typically people and companies with whom we’ve worked, from start-ups to business expansions, low-interest loan customers to million-dollar bond clients. They see the value we bring to their businesses as well as the greater Adams County community, and we could not be more grateful for their support.

But why would a municipality have interest in supporting us?  Let me start by explaining why we need the community’s support. Our fees are low—just enough to cover the costs associated with our services. For example, the suggested annual contribution from municipalities is $200. Our main goal is to provide value to those we serve.

The municipalities that regularly support us are those with a sense of where and how we fit into their role within the Adams County community. We are grateful for these relationships! Teamwork and partnerships are essential to economic development. We respect and appreciate that every municipality has a “personality” comprised of a unique blend of land uses.

One example is Cumberland Township. As part of their land use planning efforts, the Greenmount Growth Area was born.

Businesses in this area communicated with township officials for years about the desire to expand, versus the challenges they were experiencing. More than 100 acres at the site formerly known as Boyd’s Bears sat vacant for years for a variety of reasons, one of which one was the lack of public infrastructure. Turns out, all the issues in the Greenmount Growth Area were related to the need for public sewer and water.

Some say timing is everything. During the growth area’s reinvigoration, the former CM Metals Gettysburg Foundry became available for public auction. Almost 50 acres of land within the growth area languished for well over 25 years following the identification of aluminum metals found to have been improperly disposed at the site. It caused the ground and water to be contaminated. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s liens on the property made it cost prohibitive for anyone to acquire and reclaim the former industrial site for further use, until now.

The County of Adams cheered when the Alliance (via our Adams County Industrial Development Authority, ACIDA) placed the winning bid. With the property deed in hand, we’re now prepping for a big spring cleaning. It’s an appropriate metaphor because there’s a lot of grit and unglamorous work involved. Federal and state grant applications, to help us with the cleanup costs. A market assessment from DEP. I would add to this list, except I don’t want to make you nod off. It might not be the most exciting work right now, but it’s necessary work. And the end result will indeed be exciting for the Greenmount Growth Area, Cumberland Township and Adams County! And all for the annual Investor support of $200.

This key parcel, in the middle of the growth area, will be usable once again in the near future. Once-contaminated land will be restored. Potential uses will be identified by our ACIDA. It could mean a new home for new or expanding businesses. It will most certainly mean a boost for Cumberland Township and Adams County tax rolls. Which, in turn, means greater economic—and in this case, ecological—health for all.

Robin Fitzpatrick is President of Adams Economic Alliance, which comprises three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). For more information, see, follow us on Facebook (, X, formerly Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Instagram (@adamscountypa) and LinkedIn (@AdamsCountyPA), or contact us at 717-334-0042.

This article originally published in the Gettysburg Times, April 11, 2024