New park, middle school most likely to be funded

November 18, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll's Planning Commission began deciding yesterday what capital budget projects the county should fund next fiscal year.

Emergency radio system improvements, studies on a county police force and expansion of the Eldersburg branch library could fall by the wayside, officials said.

Money for a new middle school in New Windsor, a new park in Sykesville and property acquisition for new schools probably will be allocated.

The commission met for a work session to review recommendations from Planning Director Edmund R. Cueman, Chief of Building Construction Tom Rio and budget analyst Gary Horst about which projects should be funded in fiscal year 1994, which begins July 1.

Last month, the commission heard requests from various county department heads and others for money for specific projects.

The county will have $8.5 million in cash and general obligation bonds to pay for the projects -- about half what was available last year, Mr. Cueman said.

The commission made no decisions yesterday and will meet again next week to continue the discussion. Members must make recommendations to the county commissioners by Dec. 11.

They reviewed a list of 21 projects, identified as No. 1 priorities by county agencies, with a $3.3 million price tag. Nine of those should be funded in the coming fiscal year at a cost of $1.6 million, Mr. Cueman said.

A new middle school in New Windsor, at a cost of $5.1 million, also should be funded, the three advisers recommended.

The nine top-priority projects are:

* $500,000 to buy land for new schools. School officials had requested $1 million.

* $300,000 for road improvements to Route 32 and other work for the expansion and renovation of Mechanicsville Elementary School.

* $175,000 for computer replacements in county systems.

* $169,300 for school roofing projects. The state is expected to pay $143,900 of this cost.

* $149,300 for an addition to the Carroll County Humane Society to add a room for cats at the animal shelter on Route 97. Officials had requested $470,000 for expansion projects.

* $120,000 toward the cost of creating a Sykesville Park.

* $60,000 for a storm water management pond at the Firemen's Training Center on Washington Road.

Other projects at the site cannot be completed without the pond.

Planning Commission Chairwoman Barbara J. Dixon suggested this project could be cut later if needed.

* $50,000 for a Piney Run monitoring program.

* $43,100 for a traveling overhead crane for use in the county's Bureau of Fleet Management.

Planning Commission members questioned an upgrade of the county's emergency radio system that would cost a total of $6.3 million over five years. Officials requested $860,535 in fiscal 1994.

Member David T. Duree suggested the county further study technical questions associated with the upgrade.

Also, Mr. Cueman said, the county could delay initial study for a county police department. The state has not indicated it will withdraw the resident trooper program and most likely will give the county several years notice if it did, he said.

An expansion of the Eldersburg branch library is important, but other needs are more pressing, Mr. Cueman said. Library officials had requested $109,200 to expand the current 15,000-square-foot building by 10,000 square feet.

The county also will be paying for continuing capital budget projects, such as agriculture land preservation, county office space renovations and park land acquisitions.

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