Training Center Budget Cut Again

Public Safety Project For Sykesville Already Has Been Delayed For Years

March 22, 1992|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff writer

ANNAPOLIS — Another $420,000 has been lopped from the budget for the state Public Safety Training Center planned for Sykesville, under the budget passed by the Senate last week.

The project already has been delayed for several years as legislators have voted to transfer money from a special fund established for the center to the state's operating budget to plug holes.

The governor proposed allocating $1.12 million in his fiscal 1993capital budget for the center, which would be a training site for state and local law enforcement, correctional and parole and probation personnel in Maryland.

Under the governor's plan, the money would be used to begin designing, repairing and equipping existing buildings on the Springfield Hospital Center site for conversion to training facilities.

The Senate reduced the allocation to $700,000. It alsostipulated that no money can be spent for the design, renovation or construction of the center until legislative budget committees reviewthe proposed site and justification for the project and comment uponwhether plans should be pursued.

The center has been planned for 720 acres adjacent to the hospital grounds along Route 32.

The General Assembly has proposed transferring $6.3 million from the center's fund to help reduce the current year's budget deficit, and another $4.5 million for next year to address a projected shortfall.

The legislature transferred $13 million from the fund to the general operating budget last year to help eliminate a deficit.

"The need for other things is more pressing," said Sen. Charles H. Smelser, a Carroll Democrat who serves on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. "Purely and simply, we're using the money to balance the budget."

Estimates for the project, which would create jobs for Carroll residents, have ranged widely over the last several years, from $30 million to $90 million.

Some of the variance depends on whether existing buildings are converted or all new facilities are constructed.

"It will eventually be built, but not during this tough budget year," saidDel. Richard N. Dixon, a Carroll Democrat and House Appropriations Committee member.

Money for the project is generated through law enforcement citations.

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