Programs are ranked for cutting County must pare $5 million worth

October 27, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll commissioners recited their ABCs yesterday when they ranked a number of county, state and non-profit programs in an effort to decide how to cut about $5 million from the budget.

Job training, rape crisis intervention and senior citizens programs received "A" rankings from the three commissioners, meaning they are a high priority for continued funding.

Money to recreation councils to reduce or eliminate fees for programs, to the Cooperative Extension Service for mailing newsletters and to the Department of Social Services for certain assistance programs received "C" rankings from most of the commissioners, meaning they are a lower priority.

The board met yesterday with county Budget Director Steven D. Powell and his staff to discuss the cuts.

The county must cut about $5 million from its $119.3 million budget to help eliminate a half-billion-dollar state deficit. Several plans have been proposed to balance the state budget, but a final decision has not been made about which will be implemented, Mr. Powell said.

Carroll would have to cut about $5 million under any of the scenarios.

If the state implements a proposal to shift payment of the employers' portion of Social Security taxes for educators and librarians from the state to the counties, it would mean $4,098,474 in education cuts to Carroll.

That cut would be shared by county agencies, however, and would not fall exclusively on the Board of Education, Carroll Community College and the libraries, Mr. Powell said.

"Carroll's going to make it through," he said, adding that the county is in good shape financially. The cuts will take a toll, however.

"It does mean things are going to fall by the wayside," he said.

The commissioners considered the following cuts yesterday:

* Job training -- $13,222 that pays for some activities for Maryland's Tomorrow, a program that helps keep high school students in school, and for transportation and day care expenses for people enrolled in training programs.

The county's job-training program is successful and should be fully funded, the commissioners said.

* Rape crisis intervention -- a total of $15,000 that would eliminate 1 1/2 positions on the Rape Crisis 24-Hour Hot line. Other staff would have to fill in on the hot line, taking time away from their other duties, according to a budget document.

More and more people are reporting rapes, "and we have to be able to serve those people," said Commissioner Julia W. Gouge.

* Aging -- $16,446 that pays for the Carroll Transit System used by senior citizens and the disabled. Commissioners Gouge and Elmer C. Lippy ranked this "A"; Commissioner Donald I. Dell ranked it "B."

They also looked at $8,660 that pays a portion of a salary for an employee who provides information about resources and programs for senior citizens and their families. Mrs. Gouge ranked it "A"; Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy ranked it "B."

* Recreation -- $7,684 that allows local recreation councils to reduce or eliminate fees charged for programs and to offer scholarships to people who cannot afford to pay. All three commissioners ranked this "C".

Mr. Dell said many recreation councils have surplus funds.

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