Bill Says State Should Pay To Air-condition 4 Schools

February 10, 1991|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

The state would air-condition four Glen Burnie schools disrupted by jet noise from Baltimore-Washington International Airport under a bill endorsed by Anne Arundel lawmakers Friday.

Under existing rules,the state and federal government pay most of the costs of soundproofing schools within flight paths. The county is responsible for air conditioning.

A 1987 study found that the four schools -- Corkran Junior High, Glen Burnie Park, Oakwood Elementary and Arthur Slade Elementary -- were being subjected to excessive noise from the airport.

Delegate Joan Cadden, D-Brooklyn Park, a bill co-sponsor, said the state-owned airport creates the noise and should foot the bill.

"It's a definite health issue and it needs to be addressed," Cadden said. "The noise level at Glen Burnie Park Elementary is very disturbing and needs to be taken care of."

The county's 13-member House delegation unanimously endorsed the bill. It also is supported by County Executive Robert R. Neall, the county Board of Education and Senators Philip C. Jimeno, D-Brooklyn Park, and Michael J. Wagner, D-Glen Burnie.

"All we're saying is it's a state responsibility, please put the air conditioning in," said Delegate Victor Sulin, D-Severn, the bill's co-sponsor.

The county, state and federal government spent $4.5 million soundproofing Corkran. The school, which had been closed three yearsbecause of the work, reopened in September.

Soundproofing on Arthur Slade, a private parochial school, will begin this summer. It willcost $3.5 million, Maryland Aviation Administration officials said.

The other projects have been frozen because the state Transportation Trust Fund is depleted, state officials said.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer has proposed a 5 percent sales tax on gasoline and an increase in landing fees to replenish the trust fund, which is used to finance roads, mass transit and airport projects.

But legislators worried Friday that the state still may not have enough money in the trust fund to pay for air conditioning. Lawmakers said they would seekalternative financing next year.

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