Carroll capsule

Carroll capsule

December 18, 1991

ADVISORY PANEL MEETS

SYKESVILLE -- Members of the Mental Health, Drug Abuse and Addictions Advisory Board discussed concerns regarding attendance and representation yesterday.

Members said counties such as Howard and Frederick had a greatdeal of representation from not only the professional community but also concerned citizens.

Both negative and positive response greeted the possibility of decentralizing the group and establishing separate boards for each area.

"I think that it is better for people to come to one meeting once a month," said Olivia Myers, executive director of Junction Inc. "Some of these people would have to go to four or five different meetings if they went to separate boards."

In other business, Howard Held, director of the county's Mental Health Bureau, told the board thathe was awaiting the next round of budget cuts, which are expected tobe announced by the middle of next month.

"Right now, we are moving along as best we can," Held said. "It's not only the state cuts which are a concern but also possible cuts from the county. We have about $60,000 in county funds which are vulnerable."

MUNCIE SCHOOL CLOSED

SYKESVILLE -- State budget cuts will force a school for emotionally disturbed youths to close in March, a teacher has said.

All 22 state and contractual employees of the Muncie School, a special education program at the Springfield Hospital Center, have received layoff notices, said Jane Cosby, a teacher there.

The pink slips came last Monday and won't take effect for 90 days.

Muncie is a middle and high school special education program that serves about 45 students, most of whom live at Springfield, Cosby said.About eight are day students from around Carroll County.

Muncie students are to be taught at home after March by state home and hospital teachers.

The home and hospital program will run six hours eachweek, compared with Muncie's six-hour school day.

Cosby said the new teachers may not be properly trained to handle Muncie students, who suffer behavioral problems.

Ron Peiffer, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Education, which subsidizes the schools at statemental hospitals, said the department would try to hire teachers whohave experience with emotionally disturbed children.

"We're awarethere would have to be people who would be qualified to handle that kind of student," Peiffer said.

The Muncie employees could be candidates for these new positions, said Brian Rice, the fiscal officer for the department's division of special education.

In October, thestate cut $719,000 from its $6.2 million fiscal 1992 grant for schools at eight state mental hospitals, according to Rice.

He said thehospitals knew a cut was coming. But until recently, "the question was, which facility was going to be cut and by how much," Rice said.

He said Springfield took the hardest hit and lost its school mainlybecause the adolescents stay there for much shorter periods than at the other hospitals.

REZONING REQUEST DENIED

MOUNT AIRY -- The town's Planning and Zoning Commission did not recommend to rezone a 13.3-acre site along South Main Street and Route 27 during its meeting Monday night.

The tract, owned by Merridale Gardens Limited Partnership, is zoned community commercial. Merridale was seeking a recommendation to rezone it to high density residential, which could have paved the way for as many as 104 housing units, saidTeresa Bamberger, the town's planner.

Merridale is not required to file site plans for the tract, and no such plans have been filed. "I think the only thing that we can infer is that they intend to develop some housing on the tract," Bamberger said.

The commission's action Monday night means that it is likely the Board of Appeals will deny the rezoning request.

The tract sits in a predominantly commercial part of town, Bamberger said. To the east and south are commercial buildings, to the west is some housing and a shopping center, and there is a substantial buffer between commercial and residential zones to the north.

WATER USAGE IS OK

HAMPSTEAD --Councilman William Pearson told his colleagues that the town is keeping within the water-usage limit of 300,000 gallons a day.

"Last month, the daily usage was under the limit, and so far this month, we have been using 280,000 gallons a day," Pearson said.

Pearson recommended that the council examine the possibility of developing water west of Hampstead on Broadbeck Road, near property owned by the Carroll County Hospital Foundation Inc.

Mayor C. Clinton Becker agreed with Pearson.

Other business included the selection of new dates for the Jan. 20 and Feb. 17 Town Council meetings, which fall on the birthdays of Martin Luther King and George Washington, respectively.

The January meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 21, and the Feb. 17 meeting is set for Tuesday, Feb. 18.

SUBDIVISION APPROVED

The county Planning and Zoning Commission yesterday approved a requestto subdivide 21 acres of a 131-acre farm on Hoffmanville Road.

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