Ecker plan to cut funds upsets school officialsELLICOTT...

MARYLAND/REGIONAL NEWS

April 22, 1993

HOWARD COUNTY ELLICOTT CITY — Ecker plan to cut funds upsets school officials

ELLICOTT CITY -- School officials are upset about County Executive Charles I. Ecker's plans to amend his proposed capital budget and cut the school board request by perhaps as much as 10 percent.

Mr. Ecker said yesterday that he thinks school construction is too expensive. The cuts would affect projects that have not yet been bid and will not affect renovations or small projects, he said.

Since the state approved $6.6 million in aid yesterday, Mr. Ecker plans to use other money in the capital budget to renovate and expand Bollman Bridge and Longfellow elementary schools and repair roofs at Hammond High School and Guilford and Phelps Luck elementary schools in the coming fiscal year. Mr. Ecker had earlier asked the school board to defer those projects a year and the school board had agreed.

"We could have played hardball" and not agreed to hold those projects up for a year, said School Superintendent Michael E. Hickey. "Some chastised us for not doing that. Instead, we made a lot of changes. He owes us a little. We're going to have to really fight him on this one."

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