Tempted by the sight of a homemade Christmas treat, the Glen Burnie Improvement Association sped through the main course of business Tuesday night, approving its 1991 budget with little discussion.
Civic association members joked that the cherry-topped chocolate cake at the back of the room was an irresistible incentive. When one committee chairman after the next had no report, GBIA president Muriel Carter laughed and said: "It must be the cake."
The association quickly and unanimously approved a $194,000 budget for the upcoming year to cover operating and maintenance costs, beautification programs and charitable contributions. Under the association's newly revised bylaws, the budget must be balanced next year.
This year, the civic group ended up $26,124 in the red because it spent $179,574, although only $153,450 was budgeted. To avoid another deficit, the association inserted a balanced-budget provision in its bylaws last month.
Most of the 1991 budget will be financed with $140,000 raised through the association's 82nd annual carnival last August. Interest and fees will underwrite the rest, Carter said.
The largest chunk of the budget has been set aside for running the association and community programs. While $94,750 was earmarked for operating expenses, another $74,750 will cover maintaining the civic group's offices on Crain Highway. About $24,500 is earmarked for charitable organizations.
After unveiling the budget, association leaders urged the 50 members present to become more involved in community activities. Treasurer Don Gibson emphasized that GBIA should do more than simply hand out money to the fire department, Arundel Hospice, Meals on Wheels and similar groups.
"Just handing out money, I don't think is as effective," he said. "We're going to need some active people to help out."
In other business Tuesday night, the association backed a group of residents who are fighting plans to develop condominiums on Crain Highway near Quarterfield Road.
Citing traffic congestion and potential drainage problems, two women who live on Main Avenue, only a few blocks from the proposed development, asked the civic association for support. They also are circulating a neighborhood petition opposing the development.
"I do not want three-story condominiums peeping me in my back yard," said Alice Louden, a 34-year resident of Main Avenue, who said she enjoys walking through the wooded lot behind her house.
George Stone, a Pasadena developer, wants to build 114 two-bedroom condominiums and a 6,000-square-foot office center there. But his preliminary plans failed to win the county's stamp of approval, said county planner Chris Soldanu.
The developer has until Feb. 4 to submit revised sketches for the 8.3-acre property. County officials have suggested including more buffers, extending the sidewalk on Crain Highway, building a looped road around the condominiums, and developing a central recreation area.