Baltimore County’s $4.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 provides significant capital for District 1, including $7 million toward a new Wilkins police station.
Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents the southwest portion of the county where the precinct is located, called the upgrade a “long time coming” and “great to see.”
“The previous one was really old and dilapidated,” Quirk said.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., whose proposed budget was approved by the county council last week, described the Wilkins Precinct of the Baltimore County Police as a building that had suffered from years of deferred maintenance.
It was in need of a complete mechanical upgrade, ADA upgrades, security upgrades, a basement configuration, and a plumbing evaluation, Olszewski wrote in a 2019 letter to Gov. Larry Hogan.
“With all that has changed over the decades and the deferred maintenance, a renovation is no longer feasible,” he wrote. “Wilkins Police Precinct is the oldest of our precincts, and we need a new, modern facility that can accommodate the officers assigned there and the communities they serve.”
Quirk also noted the lack of space in the old precinct, located at 901 Walker Ave. in Catonsville, and the overall need of a new facility.
“The whole entire county identified it as the police precinct that needed the most updating for few years now,” he said.
Various other police facility upgrades across the county totaling about $2.6 million were also included in the budget. They are:
- $1 million for pistol range capital improvements and training feasibility study
- $800,000 for Essex precinct capital improvements and mechanical upgrade
- $430,000 for Woodlawn precinct capital improvements and replacement
- $120,000 for Cockeysville precinct roof replacement
- $50,000 for pistol range training simulation building feasibility study
- $200,000 for miscellaneous precinct capital improvements and upgrades
Quirk’s district, he said, received “a huge amount of capital” in the approved budget for a number of other projects too.
The budget included $67 million to replace Lansdowne High School, $4.6 million to expand the Woodlawn Senior Center, and $1 million toward land acquisition for a new career fire station on Frederick Road in Catonsville.
The replacement of Lansdowne High School has been an ongoing process for a number of years because of its poor infrastructure and overcrowding issues. In 2019, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones said Lansdowne is “No. 1″ among schools that should receive state construction funding.
The Woodlawn Senior Center is expected to undergo significant renovation and expansion, as part of a $12 million initiative to improve senior facilities and reflect the needs of a growing senior population in the county. It will feature various amenities such as a fitness center, new multipurpose rooms, multiple classrooms and handicap-accessible restrooms.
Quirk, prior to the passage of the budget Thursday, accurately predicted there would not be any dissension among the council or the public. The council ultimately passed Olszewski’s budget without cutting a cent.
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“It’s one of the better capital budgets that we’ve seen,” Quirk said.