Balto. Co. is to vote on bonds $118 million bond sale, shift in picking planning board on ballot


Along with their choices for president and congress this November, Baltimore countians will vote on $118 million worth of bonds and a charter amendment that would change how people are appointed to the county planning board.

The bond amount is less than the $200 million requested in November 1990 -- before the recession began. However, it is the second-highest in county history. The previous second-highest bond issue was $110 million in 1988.

Although county voters approved borrowing $197.5 million of the $200 million requested in 1990, County Executive Roger B. Hayden has authorized the sale of only $150 million worth of bonds.

The single largest item delayed by Mr. Hayden's decision was a $20 million repair garage and training academy for the fire department. The complex was to be built at Sparrows Point. To save money, the county is considering buying a garage in Dundalk. Another $20 million worth of various public works projects for sewer, roadway and bridge work also have been delayed.

Mr. Hayden's lower request reflects a desire this year to trim borrowing and escape increased interest payments. The recession and cuts in state aid also have influenced the administration's decisions.

If the bond measure is approved, schools and public works would be the big winners, with public works getting $47 million and school construction and maintenance receiving $46 million. Even though the total for school spending is higher than the $40 million devoted to schools in 1990, it is half of what the school board requested. The current bond funding schedule has $13.7 million for new roofs, $8 million for asbestos removal and $8.4 million for a new Mays Chapel Elementary School.

The public works spending would include $7.6 million for a new Campbell Boulevard in White Marsh and $5.1 million for extending Red Run Boulevard in Owings Mills.

The proposed charter amendment would allow each County Council member to appoint one person to the planning board, thus bypassing the county executive. Currently, the county executive appoints all 15 board members, though seven appointments are based on recommendations from each of the seven council members.

Mereen E. Kelly, the county administrative officer, said the Hayden administration is not opposed to the change.

Where the money would go

Here is how the $118 million in bonds would be allocated if approved by Baltimore County voters:

* Public schools: $46.1 million.

* Refuse disposal facilities: $11 million.

* Community colleges: $3.3 million.

* Public works: $47.4 million.

* Parks, greenways: $3 million.

* Elderly, affordable housing: $600,000.

* Agricultural preservation: $660,000.

* Community improvements: $1.6 million.

* Waterway improvements: $3.1 million.

* Libraries: $1 million.

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