Commissioners to decide budget cuts
The Carroll County commissioners will begin making decisions next week about how to cut $5 million from the budget, Budget Director Steven D. Powell said.
Mr. Powell met briefly with the commissioners yesterday to give them an outline of three options that have been proposed to erase a half-billion-dollar state deficit.
Two of the options were proposed by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and the third by Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall.
Under each option, Carroll would have to cut about $5 million from its $119.3 million budget, Mr. Powell said.
The county can make the cuts without "devastating any single entity," Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said.
"We can do it without dipping into our already skinny rainy day fund," he said.
Carroll will be in good shape if this is the final cut from the state, Commissioner Donald I. Dell said.
The county is in better shape to handle the cuts than some other counties because of planning, Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said.
County officials delay waste plant opening
County officials have deferred the planned Oct. 26 opening of the septic waste treatment facility in yet another delay since the plant was completed six months ago.
Helen M. Spinelli, a county planner, declined to project yesterdawhen the plant would open.
Ms. Spinelli said the opening was postponed this time becausstaff members have agreed that representatives of the agencies involved should meet before the plant opens.
"It's just kind of a cautionary meeting to make sure everything is coordinated," she said.
Public hearing possible on planned health fees
The county commissioners may schedule a public discussion before deciding whether to raise some fees and levy additional ones to preserve environmental health services facing state budget cuts.
County health officials say they will have to lay off eight environmental health staff members and eliminate or reduce services to absorb a $659,000 cut in state financing. But they say the services can be retained if the commissioners change the fee schedule to cover some of the losses.
The commissioners were scheduled to discuss proposed changes with Budget Director Steven D. Powell yesterday, but they postponed the session until next week.
Proposed fee changes include increases in fees for well and septic tank applications, commercial plan reviews and percolation tests, subdivision percolation tests and food service facility permits. New charges would be levied on applications for replacement wells, extra percolation tests, well water samples and subdivision plan reviews.
Springfield volunteers ask for holiday gifts
The Volunteer Services office of Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville is asking Carroll countians to remember patients at the mental health hospital with small gifts at the holiday season.
Items should be new, with no glass parts or containers. If gifts are wrapped, the contents should be indicated in small letters on the outside, and the sender should note whether the gift is for a male or female patient.
Presents can be sent to Volunteer Service, Staff Collage I, Springfield Hospital Center, Sykesville, Md. 21784, to be received no later than Dec. 21. For other arrangements, call 795-2100, Ext. 3218 or 3219.
Gifts suitable for all patients include canteen cards (cost $1 or 50 cents each), which are subdivided into 5-cent, 10-cent and 25-cent sections to buy coffee, sandwiches, milk shakes and other items at the Memorial Canteen; magazine and newspaper subscriptions; television sets, record players, pianos, radios, cushions, table tennis equipment, bingo sets and recreational equipment.
Gifts recommended for male patients include shaving cream, shaving lotion, after-shave, talcum powder, new electric razors (no regular razors or blades), styptic pencils, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, wash cloths, tissue, hair dressings and combs, clothing, pens, stationery, handkerchiefs and lap robes.
Gifts suggested for female patients include cosmetic items, bobby pins, rollers, crochet cotton, knitting wool, toilet articles, head scarves, slippers, bed jackets, handkerchiefs, hose, socks, pantyhose, tote bags, gloves and stationery.
Playground is made accessible to disabled
The county Department of Recreation and Parks, with the Therapeutic Recreation Council, will dedicate the Westminster Community Pond Accessible Playground Oct. 31.
The ribbon-cutting will be at 2:30 p.m. at the park, Routes 140 and 97 north in Westminster. The playground is specially designed for physically disabled people.
5 countians get leads on unclaimed funds
State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein has reported that 67 people visited his office's Care-A-Van at Cranberry Mall Saturday, and "five found leads on money or valuables worth $1,905. The average claim was $381."
Representatives of the comptroller's office staffed an unclaimed-property booth at the Westminster Mall, where shoppers could check computer records to see if their names were among the more than 160,000 accounts of unclaimed funds worth more than $60 million.
The comptroller's office is required to seek the owners of unclaimed funds held by financial institutions, utilities, insurance companies and other corporations.
Mr. Goldstein said that the computer records go back 25 years and that there is no time limit on recovering money. "You or your legitimate heirs can claim the funds at any time," he said.
Fast-food restaurants promote literacy
The McDonald's restaurants of Westminster and Eldersburg will hold a fund-raiser and promotion to benefit the Literacy Council of Carroll County through Dec. 17.
Robert Foreman, owner of the restaurants, will raffle a wooden wagon, designed and hand-made by Heirloom Toys of Sykesville, with a retail value of $300. The wagon could be used as a child's toy, to hold stuffed animals and other toys, or as a decorator item to hold plants or floral arrangements.
Tickets are $1 each, and the drawing will be Dec. 17. Alproceeds will be used for programs of the literacy council.
Storybook characters such as Mother Goose, Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Good Fairy will be reading children's stories at the restaurants Nov. 1 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Eldersburg and Nov. 8 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Westminster.