Boschert offers bill opposing move of prison boot camp to Tipton

December 15, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

Councilman David G. Boschert last night introduced a resolution in the County Council opposing Gov. William Donald Schaefer's proposal to move the state prison boot camp to Tipton Army Airfield in western Anne Arundel.

Mr. Boschert, a Crownsville Democrat, favors turning the airfield, which must be disposed of by September 1995 under the federal Base Closure and Realignment Act, into a privately run aviation facility. The county is conducting a feasibility study to determine whether it wants to request transfer of the airfield to its ownership, which it would then lease to a private concern to operate.

Mr. Schaefer expressed interest in moving the Herman L. Toulson Correctional Boot Camp to Tipton last month after efforts to relocate it from Jessup to the northern edge of Fort Meade, near a large housing development, were rebuffed. U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the 5th District Democrat, tacked an amendment onto a military construction bill forbidding use of any federal money to relocate the camp to the military post, which effectively killed the governor's proposal.

Corrections officials say the boot camp must be moved from Jessup to accommodate expansion to 500 inmates -- men and women.

Mr. Boschert's resolution says that moving the boot camp to Tipton "would be detrimental to the quality of life in the community and counter to the approved plans for revitalization of the area."

Last night, Mr. Boschert said that he wants Tipton to remain an airfield so that Army and National Guard units there would not have to be relocated and about 100 jobs would be saved.

He did not rule out moving the facility to another location in the west county. "It is my desire . . . to find an acceptable site in west county, if he is determined to place the boot camp in west county," he said.

Mr. Boschert pointed to a possible site west of Tipton and south of the National Security Agency, and near the District of Columbia Childrens Center. But he emphasized that before relocation plans proceeded any further, Mr. Schaefer needs to meet with representatives of local community associations and county and federal elected officials.

Mr. Boschert also suggested the governor look at the former Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Cecil County.

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