Board approves $105 million budget, with a catch: More must go


The county's Planning Advisory Board approved yesterday a proposed $105 million capital budget for the next fiscal year with the understanding that an additional $4 million must be cut before the plan is sent to the County Council.

That cut would satisfy Anne Arundel County Executive Robert R. Neall, who has said that he wants to limit the capital budget to $100 million for fiscal 1994, which begins July 1.

The capital budget for the 1993 fiscal year is $92.9 million.

County budget analyst Gregory V. Nourse said that the $4 million will be eliminated as Mr. Neall reviews the proposed budget during the coming weeks, with the hope that savings can be realized without eliminating any projects.

Last week, the board, which makes recommendations on the capital budget to the county executive, voted to delay a proposed $4.4 million addition to Deale Elementary School in South County until 1995 to stay below Mr. Neall's budget cap.

School officials complained that the year's delay put them behind in their efforts to renovate every school in the system on a 40-year cycle.

Yesterday, Mr. Nourse recommended restoring the Deale Elementary addition to the proposed budget, saying that Mr. Neall would find the savings elsewhere.

The board then amended its earlier vote and included funding for the addition, with the provision that it would reconsider its inclusion at its April 8 meeting.

The inclusion of the Deale addition brought funding for proposed school building projects to $32.3 million for next year, more than double the school system's allocation this year, but only about a third of the $105 million it requested. Part of that funding will go to build two new elementary schools: Solley Elementary in the north and Meade Heights Elementary at Fort Meade in the western part of the county.

The board also approved a proposed $2.81 million for Department of Recreation and Parks projects, mostly for land acquisition.

Among the proposed projects are a land purchase for the Cattail Creek Nature Area, a fish ladder for the Lake Waterford Dam, expansion of the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary and a land purchase for athletic fields as part of the Crofton Athletic Complex.

Other capital proposals approved by the board include $13.9 million for general county projects, such as for preliminary designs of a new Circuit Court house in Annapolis.

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