Queen Anne’s County voters support building a Foreign Affairs Security Training Center in Ruthsburg, even when presented with arguments from both supporters and opponents of the proposed project, according to a new poll.

The State Department has selected Ruthsburg for a 2,000 acre project to train diplomatic security agents for work across the globe. While local officials had initially supported bringing the project, they have changed their mind in recent weeks, including a vote of opposition by the Queen Anne’s County commissioners in December.

The poll was conducted for the Eastern Shore Leadership Council, a new group of business and community leaders seeking to promote job growth in the area. Hart Research Associates, a firm that has done dozens of statewide and local polls in Maryland, contacted 403 registered Queen Anne’s County voters on Jan. 16 and 17.

The poll found that 49 percent have a positive reaction of the training center, based solely on what they already know about the project.

When told positive facts of the project – including 500 construction jobs, 500 permanent administrative, technical and support jobs, and the federal government paying for a major upgrade of U.S. 301 at the Md. 304 insection – support increased to two-thirds of voters surveyed.

After being told of arguments used against the project – including increased traffic, the loss of open space, noise pollution from “hard skills training” with explosions and gunfire, and increased air and water pollution – support remained at 60 percent of voters, according to the poll.

Read the reports on the poll here:
Poll memo
Poll questions and results
Graphs of poll results

Read Clayton A. Mitchell’s thoughts on the proposed project here:
Queen Anne’s Co. should support training center

Read the Baltimore Sun’s Jan. 17th article on the proposed project here:
The battle is joined in Ruthsburg