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Capital budget includes EOC center, Havre de Grace firehouse

Harford County Executive David Craig's proposed capital budget for 2013 features some new projects that residents could see this year.

One project of interest in Havre de Grace is a long planned addition to the Susquehanna Hose Company's Number 3 Firehouse on Market Street.

Craig is proposing a $124.4 million capital budget, with 75 cents of every general fund dollar going toward education and public safety facilities. The 2012 capital budget was $132.6 million.

The 2013 operating and capital budgets will be reviewed during April and May by the county council, which must enact a budget by June 1.

A major capital expense would be a new, $41 million Emergency Operations Center, which has been planned for several years. The new capital budget earmarks $20 million for the project in 2013.

Planned infrastructure costs include $5.6 million to resurface the county's 630-plus miles of asphalt roads and $2.9 million for 15 bridge improvement projects.

Volunteer fire service would get $6.8 million. Susquehanna Hose Company in Havre de Grace would get another $500,000 for an addition to its Firehouse 3, an $810,000 project for which the remaining $250,000 will be funded in 2014.

Firehouse 3 is home to the Susquehanna Hose Company's swift water rescue unit and the unit's watercraft.

Another capital improvement expenditure proposed in the Havre de Grace and Aberdeen area is $75,000 for construction at the city's waterfront David Craig Park, a redevelopment project with a total cost of $925,000.

The 2013 capital budget proposes spending $1.4 million for roof replacements at George D. Lisby Elementary School in Aberdeen, Churchville Elementary School, Joppatowne High School, North Harford Elementary School, Aberdeen Middle School, Hickory Elementary School and Havre de Grace Elementary School. The total cost of the course of the program is $7.5 million.

The budget also contains an existing appropriation of $250,000 for the Havre de Grace High School feasibility study to determine what type of replacement building could be built on the site.

There is no proposed funding for actually building a new Havre de Grace High School, a project which has been conservatively estimated at $60 million; however, the new budget contains a potential expenditure of $20 million as early as 2014 – the year that HHS graduate Craig is due to leave the county executive's office.

Other projects

Other major capital expenditures proposed include $7 million to Harford Community College for its new nursing building, $3 million to the Churchville parks and recreation facility (without the library branch that had been discussed earlier), $6 million toward the Humane Society of Harford County, which wants to build a new facility on its Fallston property, and $10 million to finish a regional broadband improvement project.

The administration is also proposing to fund the following new projects:

• $4.9 million for a comprehensive heating and air-conditioning project at Magnolia Middle School. The total cost is $9.8 million.

• $2.3 million for a comprehensive heating and air-conditioning project at North Harford Elementary School. The total $4.5 million.

• $2 million for a relief sewer relief sewer installed along Joppa Farm Road, as well as a gravity sewer extended along the Joppa/Oaklyn Manor areas.

• $1.6 million for 700 MHz wireless radio system equipment for interoperability with Baltimore County's new radio system.

• $1.3 million for a facilities master plan study that would include a variety of county buildings. The total cost is $3 million.

• $885,000 toward facility improvements at Joppatowne and Sod Run wastewater treatment plants.

• $700,000 to replace a force main for Bill Bass Pump Station in Edgewood. The total cost is $7.7 million.

• $680,000 toward the HMAN (Harford County Metro Area Network) to consolidate existing, disparate communication networks into one high-speed IP network. The total cost of the HMAN project is $11.9 million.

• $645,000 to significantly repair Bel Air's parking garage, following a structural survey by the town. The total cost is $698,081. The garage is jointly owned by the county and town.

• $600,000 for a plant services annex to replace a facility next to the Joppa Annex Lot.

• $540,000 for a water meter upgrade.

• $300,000 for a water and sewer rate study.

• $250,000 for an update to the county's GIS (geographic information system) feature. The total cost of the upgrade is $500,000.

• $231,000 for a sports complex entrance and grounds at Harford Community College, funded in part with the consolidated fee revenue allocated to athletics and funding provided by the college.

• $225,000 to paint bridges and $250,000 for bridge rehabilitation throughout the county.

• $175,000 to replace the Green Road bridge over a tributary of Deer Creek. The total cost is $655,000.

• $153,000 for a "refresh" program for computers and network infrastructure.

• $100,000 for renovation of some buildings and construction of a multi-purpose field at the Edgewood Recreation and Community Center. The total cost is $250,000.

• $100,000 for an efficiency capital investment project, connecting a Hickory facility to natural gas.

• $100,000 for work on guardrails throughout county.

•$98,000 to upgrade a cooling system for Harford County Public Library and build two group study rooms.

• $75,000 for efficiency capital investment projects, consisting primarily of energy audits. The county has block grants for energy audits on 22 buildings. This item will also guide investments in efficiency projects. The total cost of the energy efficiency program is $1.6 million.

• $25,000 to restore the track at C. Milton Wright High School near Bel Air.

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