Prison for DWI offenders delayed by budget cuts Baltimore Co. to set contract in February

December 05, 1991|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

In an effort to cut costs, Baltimore County officials have delayed for three months construction of a jail for drunken drivers at the Rosewood Center.

Baltimore County Administrator Merreen Kelly said that a contract likely will be awarded in February, rather than this month, for renovations to the Rosewood Center's Richards Building, a two-story structure equipped with office space, classrooms and sleeping quarters that had been used by the developmentally disabled.

According to county records, the contract likely will be awarded to Capitol Structures Inc. of Owings Mills, the apparent low bidder on the project, at $166,400.

The county has been planning since 1989 to build or find jail space for drunken drivers to cut the expense of housing them in a crowded, antiquated jail. County Executive Roger B. Hayden settled on the Rosewood location last March.

County officials said the jail would be a minium-security facility, where people convicted of drunken driving could serve time and get treatment while working during the day. They would have to pay for part of their incarceration.

The jail is one of roughly 75 projects, worth a total $6.6 million, that Mr. Hayden put on hold for at least three months to cut costs and address an estimated budget deficit of $26.8 million.

Mr. Hayden said he hopes to avoid $8 million to $10 million in debt service payments by not going to the bond market for capital projects before January 1993.

All of the delayed projects will be re-evaluated next month when the county has a more accurate picture of its revenues and expenditures, said Fred Homan, county budget director. The county is going ahead with $40 million worth of capital projects.

Other projects delayed include:

* $140,000 for renovations to the first floor of the County Office Building.

* $240,000 for storm drains on Clarendon Avenue in Pikesville.

* $320,000 for water main repairs on Red House Run in Rosedale.

* $251,000 for resurfacing the alley behind Deanwood Road in Hillendale.

* $330,000 for concrete curb and gutter work countywide.

* $10,000 for improvements to streets in Catonsville.

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