Delegates to push for school construction funds AH Wish list includes sex abuse center

January 17, 1993|By Carol L | Carol L,. Bowers Staff Writer

Harford state delegates say they'll push for state money to pay for an addition to Bel Air Middle School, a building to house an apprenticeship program at the county's community college and an expansion of the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center.

"It's really not a big wish list," said Del. Donald C. Fry, D-District 35A, chairman of the county's five-member delegation and a member of the Appropriations Committee. "There's not a lot of money to be had. But we are looking to get our share of school planning and construction money."

Heading the county's wish list for this General Assembly session is an appeal to the state Board of Public Works for permission to build an addition to Bel Air Middle School for 300 more students. The project, which would require the state to pay $2 million of the $4.8 million in construction costs, got a thumbs-down last fall from the state agency that oversees school construction.

But Mr. Fry said the delegation has a good chance of getting the money this year because the County Council is considering a 1 percent property transfer tax. Half the money from the tax, expected to generate $4 million a year, would pay farmers not to develop their land, and half would pay for school sites and school construction.

"You see, last year, they pressed us, and said, 'What are you doing at the local level to pay for projects like this?' " Mr. Fry said. The transfer tax, he said, "will show some initiative on the local level."

Harford's delegates also plan to try again to get $1.5 million in state aid to pay for the Harford Community College project, designed to train people to work in new technical industries, which the county has been trying to attract. State officials rejected the request last year, but Harford delegates say they hope to include the request in the capital budget this year for all community colleges in the state.

Another proposal to be introduced a second consecutive year is a bill that would protect Sheriff's Department employees considered "exempt" from being arbitrarily fired by a newly elected sheriff. Last year's bill, supported by Sheriff Robert E. Comes, died in a Senate committee.

The delegation also wants money for an elevator for the three-story Highland Commons community building in the northern part of the county. The project would make the building accessible to the handicapped.

At their weekly delegation meeting Friday, the county's state legislators also raised the perennial issue of whether to support use of slot machines by fraternal organizations.

Bills to do so have failed for the past two years, but Del. Mary Louise Preis, D-District 34, said a statewide bill is in the works. Harford's delegation, including the county's two senators, has not decided how to vote.

During the meeting, Ms. Preis also said Aberdeen still is seeking legislation to create a county room tax for hotels and motels.

The legislation died last year.

Aberdeen would benefit from such a tax because most of the county's hotels and motels are there.

Harford's state lawmakers are scheduled to meet Jan. 22 with County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, a former two-term delegate, to discuss her legislative wish list.

Mrs. Rehrmann has been working on draft legislation that would grant an income tax break of as much as 40 percent for companies that invest in equipment that will help them use recycled goods to manufacture their products. Representatives of Clorox Co., which recently built a plant in Harford, support the proposal, but the legislation has no sponsor in the delegation.

Mrs. Rehrmann also plans to ask the delegation to seek $300,000 from the state to help pay for the design of the county jail's expansion. The county would match the state's contribution.

LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION

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Harford County state senators

34TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

Habern W. Freeman Jr. (Democrat)

Judicial Proceedings Committee

Senate office:

202 James Senate Office Building

Annapolis, MD 21401

841-3158

District office:

2208 Old Emmorton Road

Suite 102

Bel Air, MD 21015

515-1603

35TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

'William H. Amoss (Democrat)

Budget and Taxation Committee

Senate Office:

401 James Senate Office Building

Annapolis, MD 21401

841-3603

District office:

P.O. Box 496

Fallston, MD. 21047

838-7555 or 879-7272

Harford County state delegates

All five state delegates can be reached at 841-3289 or 1-800-492-7122 or at 326 Lowe House Office Building, Annapolis, MD 21401.

District offices are listed below:

34TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack, M.D. (Democrat)

Environmental Matters Committee

118 W. Bel Air Ave.

Aberdeen, MD 21001-3238

273-9549

David R. Craig (Republican)

Ways and Means Committee

368 Congress Ave.

Havre de Grace, MD 21078-3029

939-9398

Mary Louise Preis (Democrat)

Judiciary Committee

9 W. Courtland St.

Bel Air, MD 21014-3701

838-5890

35TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

$Donald C. Fry (Democrat)

Appropriations Committee

1714 W. Jarrettsville Road

Jarrettsville, MD 21084-1524

836-6747

James M. Harkins (Republican)

Judiciary Committee

4 E. Jarrettsville Road

P.O. Box 149

Forest Hill, MD 21050-0149

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