County to restore state cuts Some programs will be preserved

December 02, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

The county commissioners agreed to restore money for an AIDS nurse, sick care for children, a rape crisis hot line, senior citizen transportation and other programs they considered crucial, county budget Director Steven D. Powell announced yesterday.

The commissioners will use $622,162 in county money to pay for about 25 programs that had been funded by the state, but were eliminated in the latest round of budget cuts, he said.

County officials must cut $4.7 million from Carroll's $119.3 million budget -- $4 million to help balance the state shortfall and the rest to restore programs the state had cut.

State leaders voted recently to cut $147 million from local governments by no longer paying the employers' portion of Social Security taxes for educators hired by the counties and Baltimore City.

No county employees will be laid off or furloughed, but a hiring freeze will continue, Mr. Powell said.

About 53 percent of the $4.7 million, or $2.47 million, will come from Board of Education cuts; about 47 percent, or $2.25 million, will come from county programs, he said.

School board members met with the commissioners in a closed session Monday to discuss the cuts, Mr. Powell said. Details about the cuts have not been decided, he said.

School Board Vice President Carolyn L. Scott said yesterday, "It isn't going to be easy, and nobody likes it, but we'll find it some place."

Education officials agreed it is fair for the schools to take 53 percent of the cut, because they take 53 percent of the county's budget, she said.

"There's been a real spirit of cooperation between the two boards as there was last year," she added.

Assistant School Superintendent William Hyde said specifics of the cuts will be detailed at the board's Dec. 9 meeting.

To cut $2.25 million from the non-education budget, the commissioners have decided to raise $65,000 through various fee increases; $183,505 by asking Carroll Community College and the public library to pay some Social Security taxes for employees; and $600,000 by removing some general fund money from the capital budget, Mr. Powell said.

That leaves $1.4 million to be cut, and the commissioners have not decided which county programs will be hit, Mr. Powell said. The commissioners have met a number of times during the past month, often in closed session, to rank the programs and discuss the impacts of possible cuts.

Among the programs restored were:

* $40,000 for an AIDS nurse to manage cases and provide counseling, testing and education for AIDS patients.

* $148,111 for sick care for about 600 children who are uninsured or underinsured, and $60,884 for school health programs.

* $79,948 for area nurses who serve people not using health-care services.

* $15,000 for 1 1/2 positions to staff the 24-hour Rape Crisis hot line.

* $16,446 for the Carroll Transit System used by senior citizens and the disabled.

* $43,237 for air quality inspections.

Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy attended Mr. Powell's news conference, but left before it was over and before taking any questions, saying they had to eat lunch.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge did not attend the news conference.

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