Budget Proposal Will Tell Fate Of Northeastern School

March 31, 1991|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

County Executive Charles I. Ecker's capital budget proposal, scheduled for unveiling at a press conference tomorrow, contains the answer to whether a new northeastern elementary school will open as scheduled in September 1993.

School officials are waiting to see whether the county will pick up the full $8.5 million estimated construction cost for the northeastern elementary.

The state Board of Public Works last week cleared the project forfinancing consideration, but allocated nothing toward the state's $3.46 million share of the cost.

The state board did agree to give Howard County partial financing for a western middle school, second ofthe two projects that local school officials had appealed after being turned down by the Interagency Committee for School Construction.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein and Treasurer Lucille B. Maurer, who make up the board, approved $2 milliontoward the estimated $12.7 million cost of the western middle school.

The allocation is less than half the $5.1 million the county school system was eligible for under the formula that governs state financing for school projects.

The board's action brings state financing for county school projects to $5.8 million for 1991-1992, including $1.2 million toward the new Elkridge Elementary School and $2.6 million toward a southeastern elementary school.

School officials hadsought a total of $24.7 million, including state reimbursement for 18 projects the county government had financed.

Sydney L. Cousin, associate superintendent for finance and operations, was optimistic that the county would make up the difference between the amount requested and the public works board's allocation for the western middle school. But he was more cautious about northeastern elementary.

"We're undecided now on how we're going to proceed with the northeastern elementary," Cousin said, adding that the decision rests with Ecker and the County Council.

Although recognition of a project by the state government has traditionally been followed by state cost-sharing in the next fiscal year, the county government would have to foot the bill in 1991-1992 if the school is to open in September 1993 as planned.

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