Courts, Prisons, Parking Get Top Billing In State Aid

STATE HOUSE WATCH--A REPORT ON THE ANNE ARUNDEL DELEGATION

January 22, 1991|By Robert Lee and John A. Morris | Robert Lee and John A. Morris,Staff writers

The governor has proposed spending $53.4 million in state money for county capital projects, with approximately 80 percent of that going for courts, prisons and parking facilities.

Schools and social programs in the county appeared to get the short end of the budget stick, accounting for only about 6 percent of the proposed grants.

Statewide, Gov. William Donald Schaefer's $815.5 million capital budget was reduced by $40 million over last year. Eleven percent of the budget was earmarked for public safety, 26 percent for education. Yesterday's proposals did not include transportation projects.

State Sen. Philip Jimeno, D-Brooklyn Park, said he was "disappointed" with the small proportion of state dollars going to schools, noting that Anne Arundel didn't seem to be keeping pace with other jurisdictions.

"I'd like to see (the county) put some more school projects in the pipeline every year to keep pace with the others," Jimeno said. He noted that the county received 100 percent of the grants it asked for, but failed to request state aid for such prime projects as North County High.

Jimeno also noted that many of the improvements are to state property, such as prisons and office buildings, that happen to be in Anne Arundel.

John Astle, D-Annapolis, chairman of the county's House delegation, said the numbers are deceptively large because of $29 million in improvements scheduled for men's and women's prisons on the county's side of Jessup.

"That's not a gift to Anne Arundel county, to improve the prisons in Jessup," he said. "I have a lot more constituents who benefit from Sandy Point State Park than the prison in Jessup."

Myron Wotring, County Executive Robert Neall's legislative liaison, said he was "surprised" the county got as much as it did.

The governor's proposal, which must be approved by the House and Senate, includes $4.3 million for parking and improvements to Sandy Point's east beach.

Annapolis appeared to fare very well, picking up major grants to help pay for the Gott's Court parking garage and expand the city's recycling efforts.

"It's an absolutely tremendous boon to the city," City Administrator Michael Mallinoff saidof the $2 million for Gott's Garage and the $187,000 for various recycling programs in the governor's proposal.

Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins had asked for $2 million in state money for Gott's Court, since thestate plans to lease one-third of the spaces at the West Street garage.

Other proposals included:

* $31.3 million for courts and prisons, including $8.9 million for a new 192-cell maximum security unit and $18.8 million in other improvements at the Maryland House of Corrections in Jessup; $2.2 million to build a multipurpose center at the Reformatory for Women in Jessup; and $1.3 million to build the newDistrict Court Building in Annapolis.

* $9.4 million for four separate parking projects, including $2 million for Gott's, $4.3 millionfor Sandy Point, $2.5 million to resurface and continue the "favorable lease arrangement" at the Naval Academy's stadium parking lot, and$660,000 to renovate the Whitmore Garage, 20 percent of which is leased by the state.

* $4.7 million to upgrade state buildings, including $1.9 million to buy and upgrade the Hammond Glaser building at 45 Calvert Street in Annapolis, $2.2 million to renovate a warehouse in Jessup and $555,000 to renovate the Jeffrey Building/Shaw House in Annapolis.

Another $3.5 million has been budgeted to buy the Bloomsbury Square public housing complex behind the state office buildingsin Annapolis, but residents have successfully resisted past efforts to sell the public housing community.

* $2.9 million for repairs, renovations and improved access for the handicapped at public schools. Included are $2 million for alterations to the environmental center, fine arts and humanities buildings at the Anne Arundel Community college, $233,000 for the Arundel Junior High roof, $174,000 for fire protection at Belvedere Elementary, $450,000 for air conditioning systems at Old Mill and Severn middle high schools and $108,000 for an elevator at Northeast high school.

* $961,000 for septic tanks and sewage treatment, including $531,000 for the Cox Creek and Tick Neck wastewater treatment plants, and $430,000 for septic tanks on Annapolis Road and in Rose Haven.

* $550,000 for recycling and other environmental projects, including $50,000 for the Annapolis material recovery facility; $37,500 to expand yard waste composting and $100,000 for curbside recycling equipment in Annapolis; $150,000 for "nutrient removal" at Cox Creek and Rose Haven; $120,000 for Muddy Bridge Branchpollution control and $92,500 for phase one of the restoration project in Marley Creek.

* $166,000 was earmarked for social programs, all of which will go to expand the non-profit Providence Adult Day Care services. Providence provides day care for 170 senior citizens in Annapolis and Glen Burnie.

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