$100,000 proposed for neighborhoods

March 25, 1994|By Patrick Gilbert | Patrick Gilbert,Sun Staff Writer

The swings and jungle gyms on the neighborhood playground at the old Loch Raven Elementary School property sit rusted and in disrepair, much like the state of the playground that has served Loch Raven Village for 40 years.

The neighborhood has been trying to do something about its playground for months. But replacing the equipment costs more money than it can raise from bake sales and other fund-raising activities.

This kind of project would be the focus of a proposed Community Action Grant Program announced this week by Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden.

Mr. Hayden said he will put $100,000 into his budget for the 1995 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

L The funding would have to be approved by the County Council.

The grants would go to community associations for projects designed to improve neighborhoods and to purchase equipment for community crime prevention or education outreach programs.

Grants could not exceed $10,000 a year to any organization and could not be used for overhead costs, consultant's fees or staff ++ salaries.

"This is welcome news for communities who want to do projects on their own but don't have the financial resources," said Wayne Skinner, president of the Towson-Loch Raven Community Council.

Jeanne Ennis, a resident of Loch Raven Village, said she took her children to the playground 30 years ago when the equipment was in much better shape.

"Now many mothers in the neighborhood won't take their children there," Mrs. Ennis said.

The idea for the grants came from Planning Director P. David Fields.

"We wanted to find a way to give community associations some financial assistance they can use along with their own volunteer work to help improve the older communities around the county," said Mr. Fields.

In return, he said, the community groups would be asked to contribute in-kind services, such as volunteer workers, to actually do the projects.

Groups can file applications from May 1 to July 1.

The applications would be reviewed by the Office of Planning and Zoning, the budget office and representatives from the Community Conservation Advisory Group, a countywide organization dedicated to preserving older communities.

County Administrative Officer Merreen E. Kelly would make the final decision.

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