Santa Claus is coming to Towson? Not exactly. But Baltimore County voters can give themselves $118 million worth of roads, recreation centers, schools, tot lots, landfill caps, alley repairs and other goodies by approving the 10 bond issue questions on the county ballot Nov. 3.
Past Evening Sun editorials have examined borrowing ordinance Questions A, C, F and J (which we endorsed) and charter amendment Question K (which we opposed). Today we'll look at the six remaining bond questions.
Question B is an $11 million bond issue for refuse disposal facilities. About $10 million would pay for the building of new cells at the Eastern Sanitary Landfill and the capping of the Hernwood and Parkton landfills. Some Parkton residents say a cap on the landfill there wouldn't remedy an alleged problem of toxins leaking from beneath the trash pile into the local ground water. County and state officials downplay the charges. While we support Question B, we urge government officials to make sure any such contamination gets "capped" before the landfill itself is.
The largest of the 10 bond issues, Question D, allows the use of $47.4 million for public works projects, mostly routine capital maintenance of the county's 2,400 miles of roadways and 700 miles of storm drains. The biggest expenses would be for road work in the county's designated growth centers -- $7.6 million for the new Campbell Boulevard in White Marsh and $5.2 million for an extension to Red Run Boulevard in Owings Mills.
The acquisition of land for the construction of parks, greenways and recreation centers would be made possible by the $3 million in Question E.
Question G is a $660,000 bond issue for the purchase of development easements under Maryland's Agricultural Land Preservation Program. Money from the state and the county's general fund would supplement the bond.
The $1.7 million in Question H would spruce up commercial districts and town centers with new walkways and bus stop shelters, parking-lot landscaping and street-sign embellishments.
Question I provides $3.2 million for erosion control, dredging and wetlands restoration along the 1,000 miles of streams, creeks and rivers and 170 miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline in the county.
These funds would bring sorely needed improvements to Baltimore County's quality of life. So we urge county residents to vote FOR all 10 bond issues, Questions A through J, on Nov. 3.