City, county voters back bond proposals Road, school projects top items for new borrowing

November 12, 1990|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff Michael A. Fletcher, Marina Sarris and Larry Carson contributed to this story.

Despite the tide of anti-spending sentiment in Baltimore County, voters on Election Day gave the county approval to borrow nearly $200 million for various school, road, library, landfill, parks and waterway projects.

In Baltimore, meanwhile, voters approved $32.25 million in bond authority for eight projects.

In the county, the big ticket items were Questions A, B and J, which call for borrowing $40 million for school improvements and $46 million for various police, fire and general government building improvements, as well as $80 million for dozens of road, bridge and storm drain improvements.

Of the borrowing for school projects, $14 million is for fixing leaky roofs at numerous county schools, $3.2 million for asbestos removal and the rest for various repairs and enhancements at nine other schools.

More than $20 million of the Question B money is earmarked for a new fire training academy on Bethlehem Steel property at Sparrows Point, $3.3 million for improvements to various police precincts and $4.5 million for expansion of the County Detention Center.

Of the public works borrowing in Baltimore County, nearly $60 million will go to 44 road projects, $11 million will go to 21 storm drain projects and $9.3 million will go to 29 bridge projects.

All three measures were approved by wide margins.

Meanwhile, voters knocked out Question I, which asks for approval to borrow $2.6 million for affordable housing and general improvements to the White Marsh and Owings Mills town centers.

Besides disposing of the tax-cap proposal, voters defeated charter amendments that would have increased the county executive's power to hire non-merit employees, and an amendment empowering the council to increase the size of the county Board of Appeals.

"It could be that the voters' decision was the desire that government not get any bigger," said Circuit Court Judge James T. Smith, who presided over the commission that proposed most of the charter amendments.

Other bond and charter questions decided were:

* Question C, which calls for $9.6 million to cap three county landfills, passed by a vote of 78,312 to 50,397.

* Question D, which calls for $500,000 for improvements to county senior centers, passed by 77,554 to 52,797.

* $2 million for renovations and repairs to various county libraries, including $1 million for the Loch Raven branch.

* Question F, a proposal to use $7.4 million to dredge various waterways and make shore improvements, passed by 71,502 to 55,461.

* $4.8 million for 42 parks and recreation projects around the county. It passed by a vote of 67,693 to 62,200.

* Question H, which calls for borrowing $6.9 million for asbestos removal, repairs and improvements to Dundalk and Catonsville community colleges, including $1.65 million to build a vocational-technical center in Catonsville.

* Question K, which passed by 61,628 to 56,976, is a charter amendment authorizing the county to hire more deputy zoning commissioners and called for the planning office to issue two-year reports on progress of the master plan.

* Another charter amendment would allow the County Council to enact criminal penalties for ethics violations by government officials, as well as grant immunity to co-conspirators. That measure passed 82,768 to 27,072.

* Question S, which calls for changing the way County Council vacancies are filled, passed 66,835 to 44,660. It gives local central committee members more power in making the selection.

In Baltimore, voters approved $6 million for Community Development loans, $4 million for housing, $2 million for Bon Secours Hospital, $7.5 million for economic development, $2 million for asbestos removal, $4 million for industrial and commercial financing, $2.75 for recreation and parks and $4 million for school construction.

In Anne Arundel County, voters adopted Question A, a charter amendment establishing a spending affordability committee to advise on budget matters, by a 57,703 to 38,736 vote.

Question B, which specifies that petitions for charter amendments must be filed with the County Council, passed 81,393 to 12,893.

Question C, which passed 84,130 to 12,643, makes technical corrections to the county charter and states that the new county executive shall take office on the first Monday in December after his or her election or as soon afterward as practical.

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