Commissioners won't spend more on renovation

May 24, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County commissioners said yesterday they would not allocate more money for renovations at Mechanicsville Elementary School in Gamber because the school system has enough money to pay for them.

The commissioners also said the school system should pay an additional $50,000 needed for design work at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge, but they allocated the money anyway to ensure that the project isn't delayed.

County Budget Director Steven D. Powell told the commissioners the Board of Education has enough money left in its current budget to spend an additional $285,000 on the Mechanicsville project and $50,000 on Elmer Wolfe.

Mr. Powell said he would meet with Walter F. Brilhart, director of school administrative services, today to discuss how much is left in the school budget.

Mr. Powell said he has estimated that as much as $3 million is unspent in the school board's operating budget.

Mr. Brilhart disputed the amount, but would not say how much is available because he said he hasn't told school board members. He said he will talk with the board at a meeting scheduled tomorrow night.

The school board carried over about $1.3 million from fiscal 1993 to fiscal 1994, about 1 percent of the budget, he said.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge was the most adamant of the commissioners in insisting that the school board pay the extra costs if it has money left.

"We've been scouring our budget for months now to find every penny we can," she said.

Mr. Powell said of the school budget, "No doubt, there is additional money."

The $5 million renovation project at Mechanicsville has run hundreds of thousands of dollars over estimates.

The school board originally had asked the county for $605,000 in fiscal 1995.

The commissioners already had agreed to spend $200,000 on design work for a $5 million renovation project at Elmer Wolfe, but school officials requested another $50,000 "to help smooth the path for the project," Mr. Powell said.

The extra money would help ensure that the design plans are thorough and meet all state requirements, he said. The commissioners are scheduled to approve a fiscal 1995 budget at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The operating budget is expected to be about $143 million, and the capital budget about $57 million.

Yesterday, the commissioners voted to add these expenditures to the proposed operating budget:

* $70,000 to the Carroll County Public Library for books, periodicals and juvenile materials.

* $17,500 to the Criminal Investigation Division unit of the state's attorney's office to hire a secretary.

* $14,145 to the Circuit Court to give a 52-cent-an-hour raise to bailiffs. The part-time bailiffs now earn $10.48 per hour and had asked for a $1-per-hour raise.

* $12,000 to the Youth Service Bureau to hire a social worker to work 24 hours a week. The social worker will earn $17,000 a year, but the commissioners already had allocated $5,000 toward the position.

* $750 each to the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery. The allocation means the county's total contribution to Baltimore cultural institutions would be $5,000. Center Stage will receive $1,000, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will receive $2,500.

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