Wish lists sent for Howard capital projects Agencies asking for $108 million

February 03, 1993|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

Department heads have told Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker they want $108 million in capital projects -- $14 million more than they asked for last year and $34.7 million more than what they were actually granted.

Their requests for fiscal 1994 were forwarded to the Planning Board on Monday for its perusal. The board will conduct a public hearing on the requests Feb. 18.

A majority of projects, $67 million worth, would be financed through the sale of general obligation bonds.

The county's bond affordability committee, which recommends ceilings on bond sales, has yet to issue a report for the coming fiscal year. Last year, it recommended that the county sell no more than $52 million worth of general obligation bonds. Mr. Ecker and the County Council approved $51 million.

Major requests this year include $12.7 million to cap a portion of the county landfill to prevent leachate from entering the soil and contaminating the ground water, and $15 million more in construction funds for a 1,400-student, eastern high school scheduled to open in 1996.

The county previously authorized $1.8 million toward the $30 million school. The school board will ask for another $13 million next year.

The school board also wants $11.8 million to continue work on a $14 million northeastern middle school and $6.4 million to finish a $27 million western high school.

If Mr. Ecker agrees to those requests, the county may need $11.3 million more in bonds than planned because of a potential loss of state construction money. So far, the state has agreed to fund $2.2 million of the $13.5 million requested by the school board.

The schools' request and the landfill cap could total $50 million in general obligation bond requests. Such a request would leave room for little else once the bond affordability committee recommends its ceiling for the coming fiscal year.

A lot else is asked for, however.

The Office of Housing and Community Development wants $1.4 million to acquire or develop 50 low-rent housing units and $250,000 to upgrade apartments at Hilltop.

The fire department is asking $2.1 million for the relocation of its Clarksville station, and $560,000 more for the public safety education center it plans to share with the Police Department.

The Public Works Department is asking $3.5 million to design and construct a 1.25 million gallon-a-day treatment plant to serve the deep run drainage area, $2.3 million more for a yard waste composting facility, and $1 million to continue to improve ground water and surface water conditions at three former landfills.

Howard Community College wants $1.6 million to renovate the Hickory Ridge building, $695,000 to renovate its physical education facility, $530,000 to provide campus buildings with fiber optic cables, and $495,000 for an emergency power generator.

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