Pennsylvania joins multi-state group developing network storing CO2

Pennsylvania joins six other states developing a plan to create a widescale system to capture and store carbon dioxide.

The long-term goal described in a news release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s offices would create the infrastructure needed to transport the greenhouse gas emissions created by energy production, manufacturing and other industries.

Wolf said the plan to pursue a carbon capture and storage system is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to combat the effects of global warming, adding the infrastructure project would also bring jobs to the commonwealth.

“This infrastructure plan will continue to invest in those jobs and even create new jobs in emerging energy industries while reducing harmful CO2 emissions,” he said.

Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming have already joined a memorandum of understanding intended to create a regional and national carbon storage network.

The intent is for states to work together proposing tax credits and other financial incentives to connect the network to sites that typically create large amounts of carbon dioxide, like power plans.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory’s website describes carbon capture systems as an underground storage for the gas that would otherwise be put out in the air.

The process essentially stores carbon gases inside of various rock formations, including underground saline water formations, oil and natural gas reservoirs or coal seams that can’t be mined.

The collective group of states would first form a “coordination group” to develop a plan over the next year, using findings from a recently released study by the Great Plains Institute, the release adds.

The study by the Minneapolis-based nonprofit research group identified most of western Pennsylvania as areas where carbon storage could be provided at a “very low cost.”

More information about the multi-state carbon storage plan can be found at carboncaptureready.betterenergy.org.

ACNB acquires Maryland-based Frederick County Bancorp

ACNB Corp. acquired a Frederick, Md.-based bank holding company and its community bank on Saturday.

Frederick County Bancorp Inc. (FCBI) and its subsidiary Frederick County Bank, were acquired by Gettysburg-based ACNB for an undisclosed amount of money.

ACNB announced last month that it was awaiting for final approval of the merger from both its and FCBI’s stockholders and that it expected to finalize the deal by Jan. 11.

The banks closed the sale on the set date and ACNB announced it will be operate the Maryland bank under the name “FCB Bank, A Division of ACNB Bank.”

FCBI stockholders received .99 share of ACNB Corp. common stock for each share they owned of FCBI’s common stock, resulting in ACNB giving 1.6 million shares of common stock to former FCBI stockholders.

With the inclusion of FCBI’s five banks in Frederick County, Gettysburg corporation now operates 34 community banking offices and three loan offices in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster and York counties in Pennsylvania and in Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick counties in Maryland.

“We are excited to welcome Frederick County Bancorp, Inc. as ACNB Corporation expands its presence in the Maryland market,” said James Helt, president and CEO of ACNB. “It is our belief the addition of Frederick County Bank’s community banking network in Frederick County, Maryland, positions ACNB Corporation for strong and profitable growth in a desirable market that is adjacent to our current footprint in southcentral Pennsylvania and central Maryland.”

As of Monday, ACNB Corporation now has approximately $2.2 billion in assets, $1.8 billion in deposits and $1.6 billion in loans.

ACNB approved to close on deal with Maryland bank

Gettysburg-based ACNB Corp. is moving forward on a deal to acquire a Frederick, Md. bank holding company after receiving both state and federal approval.

Frederick County Bancorp Inc. (FCBI) and its subsidiary company, Frederick County Bank, expect to complete a merger with ACNB by Jan. 11.

ACNB announced Tuesday that the regulatory bodies of both Pennsylvania and Maryland have approved the acquisition, and both companies are now waiting on approval from FCBI’s stockholders and ACNB’s shareholders.

ACNB Corp. is a $1.7 billion financial holding company that operates the Gettysburg-based ACNB Bank and Westminster, Md.-based Russel Insurance Group Inc. ACNB Bank operates 22 locations in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties.

FCBI has approximately $450 million in assets and its subsidiary, Frederick County Bank, operates one bank.

The companies have yet to disclose the price of the sale.

Penn-Mar expands with Maryland merger

A nonprofit provider of services for adults with developmental disabilities is growing its reach in Maryland via a merger with a similarly focused nonprofit.

Freeland, Maryland-based Penn-Mar Human Services expects to finalize an agreement with Change Inc., a smaller mental health service provider in Westminster, Maryland, next month.

Penn-Mar splits its resources between Pennsylvania and Maryland, serving approximately 250 individuals with developmental disabilities in each state. The nonprofit’s programs focus on helping people find work and provide in-home support to help them live independently.

Penn-Mar offers services in York County, as well as in Baltimore city and Carroll, Baltimore and Harford Counties in Maryland.

Change offers similar programs but focuses its efforts on Carroll County, Maryland, where it serves 160 people. Greg Miller, CEO of Penn-Mar, said a merger will strengthen two organizations that are similar in mission and services.

“It wasn’t that they had something we needed or we had something they needed,” Miller said. “We are flying in similar directions and … this was a way for us to be more cost-effective and mission-effective together.”

Change’s CEO, Mike Shriver, was CEO of Penn-Mar from 1984 to 2000. Shriver said that he and Miller stayed in contact over the years and have regularly discussed the future of the human-services industry.

Like Penn-Mar, Change offers personal support services and day services like community volunteering, aquatics and social enrichment to help its clients gain independence.

But Penn-Mar also operates 50 residential homes that allow its clients to live on their own. It has 24 homes in Maryland and 26 in Pennsylvania.

Change, on the other hand, does not offer residential space. Its clients live in their own homes or with family.

The organizations expected to be fully integrated within the next year. Change’s 120 employees will be employed by Penn-Mar, which employs 500 people. But the smaller nonprofit will operate under its current name for the foreseeable future, Miller said.

Both organizations receive some funding through Medicare and Medicaid – and they have been responding to regulatory changes calling for supporting people with developmental disabilities in a community environment instead of offering support in locations closed off from other people.

Changes at Penn-Mar include having its clients use public gyms like YMCAs and other services offered by their communities instead of private gyms operated by Penn-Mar.

“If the opportunity exists in the community, let’s get them into that type of program as opposed to bringing them in-house,” Miller said.


Homesale Realty opens 29th office

Homesale Realty has opened a new office in Bel Air, Maryland, the company’s 29th office. (Photo: Submitted)

Central Pennsylvania’s biggest residential brokerage is expanding its reach in Maryland.

Manor Township-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty on Thursday announced it has opened a new office in Bel Air, Maryland.

The new office is Homesale Realty’s seventh in Maryland and 29th overall. Bel Air is the seat of Harford County.

Company officials said the new office has seven agents, but the number is expected to grow after renovations of unused space in the building are completed.

Homesale Realty was No. 31 in the country on the latest Real Trends 500 broker ranking report from Colorado-based Real Trends. Homesale Realty posted 14,139 transactions last year, down from 14,712 in 2017.

The company finished last year with $3.1 billion in sales volume. On Real Trends rankings by volume, Homesale Realty was No. 54 in the country.

Central Pa. accounting firms join forces

Two midstate accounting firms are planning to become one next month.

East Pennsboro Township-based Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz, or BSSF, said late Friday it is acquiring Hanover-based RLH CPAs & Business Advisors for an undisclosed sum. The deal takes effect on June 1.

The move adds 31 employees and three offices to BSSF, bringing the firm to more than 130 employees and five offices overall.

RLH has offices in Frederick and Westminster in Maryland, as well as in Hanover. BSSF has an office in Manheim Township in addition to its Cumberland County headquarters.

BSSF officials said they expect to see more organic growth arising from the firm’s bigger footprint and deeper bench. The firm provides accounting, assurance, tax and consulting services to clients in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“We are excited for what the continued growth and expansion of our firm means for our clients and the areas we can serve,” said Ken Wolfe, BSSF’s managing principal and president.

The company finished 2018 with more than $14 million in revenue. RLH will add another $4 million to that total.

Orrstown closes $58.5M deal to buy Hamilton Bank

Photo: File

Shippensburg-based Orrstown Financial Services Inc., the bank holding company for Orrstown Bank, has wrapped up a $58.5 million deal to buy Maryland-based Hamilton Bank.

Orrstown, which announced the deal last October, said adding the Towson-based Hamilton Bank pushes Orrstown’s assets to $2.5 billion. The acquisition also extends Orrstown’s reach into the Baltimore market. Hamilton has seven branches in and around the Baltimore area.

Orrstown Financial Services and its subsidiaries, Orrstown Bank and Wheatland Advisors Inc., now have offices in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Perry, and York counties in Pennsylvania and in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Washington counties in Maryland, as well as Baltimore City.

Following the closing, Bob DeAlmedia, the president and CEO of Hamilton Bank, was appointed to the boards of directors of Orrstown Financial and Orrstown Bank.

Orrstown recently reported first-quarter net income of $3.1 million, down from $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2018. Bank officials said net income was down because of merger-related expenses and a previously disclosed expense related to a cyber incident insurance claim dispute. Last fall, Orrstown bought Mercersburg Financial Corp.