On Election Day, Baltimore voters will be asked to pass judgment on $30 million worth of bonds that would finance future capital improvements.
We urge voters to vote "yes" on all nine authorizations.
As in the past, this year's municipal bond program represents the fiscally conservative policies and practices that have earned Baltimore strong ratings from Wall Street financial analysts. Although $30 million is not an inconsequential amount, it is well within the borrowing limits that have been recommended to the city.
The following is a brief description of the nine bond questions on the ballot.
* Question A would enable the city to borrow $7 million for a variety of neighborhood improvement programs. Included are major initiatives to reduce the number of vacant houses.
* Question B is a $6.1 million bond issue that would be used to create new job opportunities and to increase tax revenues.
* Question C is a $3 million health loan. It would be used to expand the Eastern Health District building so that residents could be offered improved services.
* Question D would enable Maryland General Hospital to borrow $1 million as part of the renovation and expansion of its Linden Avenue site.
* Question E would make it possible for the Lyric Opera House in Mount Royal to borrow $600,000 as part of its financial package to improve stage facilities.
* Question F would authorize the Walters Art Gallery to borrow $750,000 -- or one-quarter of the overall cost -- of renovating its 1974 wing.
* Question G would provide $1 million for improvements in Patterson Park.
* Question H would contribute $2.5 million toward reconstruction of the Baltimore Zoo.
* Question I is an $8 million supplement to state funds for repairs at a number of city public schools.
"What we tried to do this year was to have it pretty broad-based, from health to recreation and parks. There are potential projects in all parts of the city," says city Planning Director Charles C. Graves III.
An aging city needs a regular infusion of capital to take care of its infrastructure needs. All these projects are desirable and deserving.
We urge city voters to vote "yes" on bond questions A through I.
Tomorrow: City sheriff and courthouse races.