City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

March 17, 2006

City planning to challenge drop in population noted in census

Baltimore officials plan to challenge the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau that show that the city lost 6,128 people, or about 1 percent of its population, in the past year.

The latest estimate, released yesterday and covering the year that ended July 1, puts the city's population at 635,815.

In three of the past four years, the city has challenged the census estimates, leading to revisions that erased the lion's share of the initially reported losses.

Based on the figures released yesterday, Baltimore's population has declined 2.4 percent so far this decade. In the 1990s, the city's population dropped 11.5 percent.

Yesterday's estimates show Baltimore was one of four jurisdictions in the state to lose population in the last year, along with Allegany, Garrett and Worcester counties. Four jurisdictions - Caroline, Cecil, Charles and Wicomico counties - gained 2 or more percent.

Eric Siegel

Baltimore: City Hall

Youth center seeks funds for program

A Baltimore youth center that supports at-risk teenagers delivered dozens of letters to City Hall officials yesterday asking for funds to help keep the program alive. The Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition's Youth Opportunity program is one of five "Yo!" centers throughout the city surviving for a sixth year on a $44 million grant that was intended to last five years. Since 2000, the center has helped more than 4,300 young people, supporters said. Calvin Street, director of the center, said he will run out of money in June.

John Fritze

Carroll County: Mount Airy

Residents turn in referendum petition

Mount Airy residents turned in 1,944 signatures yesterday - slightly more than twice the amount required - to hold a referendum to overturn the town's annexation of a 152-acre farm, where a developer plans to build 275 homes, said John Woodhull, a candidate for mayor there. That referendum should be on the ballot for the Mount Airy election May 1, assuming that the signatures, from 20 percent of the town's voters, are verified. The annexation, which would require additional sources of water, has provoked protest among the town's 8,500 residents.

Laura McCandlish

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