Bonds for Baltimore Worthy projects: City voters should approve improvements to schools, parks and housing.

October 19, 1996

CITY RESIDENTS should favor all six bond issues on the Nov. 5 ballot so that Baltimore can sell $67.7 million in bonds for capital improvements to schools, parks, housing and to boost economic development over the next two years. With decreasing tax revenue and increasing expenses, it is important for cities to manage their debt responsibly. Baltimore has done that.

The city can afford these new bond issues. Moreover, we cannot afford to ignore problems the bond money can help correct. Citizens should vote "yes" on all six bond authorizations. Here is a brief description of each:

QUESTION A -- Authorizes the city to borrow $24 million for 14 community development projects, including $11.5 million in home ownership initiatives and $4 million to support federal housing development programs.

QUESTION B -- Allows the city to replace Fire Engine Company No. 53 on Swan Avenue with a $2 million multi-unit fire station containing an engine company and truck company.

QUESTION C -- Lets the city push ahead with $16 million in economic development projects, including biotechnology initiatives, redevelopment of the Howard Street corridor as an arts and entertainment district and industrial site improvements.

QUESTION D -- $1 million for asbestos removal in a number of city-owned buildings, part of an on-going program.

QUESTION E -- $4.7 million for various recreation and parks improvements, including renovations to Clifton Park's swimming pool and bathhouse as well as Carroll Park's mansion and play fields.

QUESTION F -- $20 million for school improvements, including $11.8 million to replace or renovate several schools, including Mergenthaler High, as well as $2.6 million for asbestos removal or encapsulation.

Baltimore voters have approved every bond issue put before them since the 1972 defeat of a proposal for a new police headquarters building. Much of that success is due to the city Planning Department's strategy of holding numerous public hearings to educate the public.

The six proposals this year are deserving of voter support. Obtaining these funds will allow Baltimore to continue to make improvements without imposing additional taxes.

Pub Date: 10/20/96

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