Money woes to last, Schaefer tells county

October 08, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

State budget woes probably will continue to hurt Carroll and other counties for at least another year, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer said at a lunch meeting in Finksburg yesterday with county government officials and business owners.

Carroll officials spent part of the meeting, arranged by the county's economic development agency, telling Schaefer how much they need state money for a $48 million bypass around Hampstead.

The comptroller said he thinks the project is important but offered little hope that the state would be able to pay for it under the current budget climate.

"We're in for a tough year," Schaefer said.

He praised Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. but said Ehrlich faces the most difficult job of any governor in memory. "He's going to have to sit down some time and say, `Where are we going to get the money?'" Schaefer said, adding that he has suggested a gas-tax increase but doesn't believe Ehrlich will support it.

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