Assembly Passes Bills Requested By Brown, Commissioners

Proposals Onbonds, Fire Companies, Inmates, The Elderly

April 05, 1992|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff writer

ANNAPOLIS — Three bills requested by the county commissioners and one by Westminster's mayor passed both chambers of the General Assembly last week and are headed for the governor for approval.

The Senate passed thebills, ensuring that the county legislation won't be mired in a backlog as the legislature continues debate on budget and tax issues. If the session is extended beyond its scheduled Monday conclusion, the legislature will be prohibited from working on any bills except the budget.

The bills requested by the commissioners would allow the board to:

* Borrow up to $15 million through a bond sale for fiscal 1993 to finance public facility projects, including development of the new Carroll Community College campus, park development, solid-waste system expansions and landfill closures, road improvements and school construction.

* Lend up to $2 million, on an as-needed basis, to Carroll's 14 volunteer fire companies for equipment purchases and facilityexpansions. The county would borrow the money through a bond sale and could provide lower interest rates to fire companies than traditional lending institutions do.

* Employ inmates at the County Detention Center on public service projects. The county sheriff and the commissioners would develop regulations, including provisions to protect public safety. The commissioners would have the authority to pay wages to the prisoners, and could deduct the costs of incarceration and job training.

"The issues we sent down there were not major issues,but they were of importance," said Commissioner President Donald I. Dell.

The bill promoted by Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown would give Maryland municipalities the authority to permit the elderly and disabled to defer payment on annual increases in their property tax assessments.

A lien would be placed on the property for repayment of deferred taxes, plus interest. The debt probably would be paid by heirs who acquire the property.

One other county bill passed previously.

That bill would allow county government to investigate weed-nuisance complaints and take steps to abate potential health hazards. The County Health Department previously performed that job, but the function has been cut from the budget.

Several measures requested by the commissioners were rejected by the Carroll delegation.

Among those were proposals to authorize a tax on county hotel and motel rooms; authorize creation of a budget reserve fund; prohibit the giving away of animals as prizes at carnivals; and require home owners near quarries to notify prospective buyers of mining activities.

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