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13 projects in Md. capital budget


The results aren't final, but Carroll lawmakers say the county fared pretty well in Annapolis this year, garnering money for at least 13 building and renovation projects that were included in the state's $390 million capital budget.

But the fate of one of the county's biggest concerns -- school construction -- will not be decided until the state Board of Public Works meets later this month.

"I feel very confident we'll get the funding for Oklahoma Middle School," said Del. Richard N. Dixon.

Lawmakers have been asking for money to build the new Eldersburg school, which would help relieve overcrowding at Sykesville Middle School, for two years.

"We should be able to get it, after what we did in the conference committee," he said, referring to the committee that worked out differences in the House and Senate budgets.

In the final version, the Board of Public Works was given $114 million for public school construction throughout the state, the most the board has had to work with in two decades, Mr. Dixon said.

The board, made up of the governor, the comptroller and the state treasurer, gives the final approval for public school construction spending in Maryland.

In all, the county's six-member legislative delegation -- with Mr. Dixon leading the charge -- captured more than $17.7 million for projects ranging from a state police driving facility to wastewater treatment plant renovations and storm water management projects.

"We got everything we asked for," said Mr. Dixon, a Democrat from Westminster who is chairman of the Appropriations Committee's Capital Budget subcommittee.

He was also one of three delegates appointed to the conference committee that worked out differences between House and Senate recommendations for the capital budget.

Approval for one important item, $164,000 in money for designing a new 12,000-square-foot Maryland State Police barracks in Westminster, came during last-minute negotiations, Mr. Dixon said.

In addition to more office space, the new barracks complex will provide modern holding cells, a fitness room and a separate 4,200-square-foot garage and communications building. State officials also will be considering construction of a new full-service Motor Vehicle Administration office onto the nearly 5-acre site where the current state police barracks sits about two miles east of Westminster on Route 140.

The MVA project, for which Gov. Parris N. Glendening had requested $190,000 in his proposed capital budget, also was one of Carroll's legislative requests.

The closest full-service MVA center is in Frederick. An expresMVA center offers limited services in Westminster.

"Some people will question this as a lot of pork," said Del. Donald B. Elliott, a New Windsor Republican. "But as long as the system operates the way it does, there will be a certain pool of money.

"We'll try to claim it for certain projects. If Carroll County doesn't take advantage of it, other counties will get it. Most of the projects are determined in a back room somewhere. I'd like to see the system reformed," Mr. Elliott said.

The county's biggest catch, however, was $9.7 million for a law enforcement training facility that will be built on or near Springfield State Hospital in Sykesville.

The police training complex -- with classrooms, a vehicle maintenance building and a technical driving course -- is expected to replace a similar facility currently at state police headquarters in Pikesville.


The General Assembly approved the following capital budget projects in Carroll County in the session that ended Monday. The first figure is the amount the legislature approved, the second number the amount the Glendening administration requested.

hTC * Law enforcement driver training facility in Sykesville. $9.749 million; $12.454 million.

* Lewis Hall of Science at Western Maryland College in Westminster. $3.5 million; $3.5 million.

* Elmer Wolfe Elementary renovation In Union Bridge. $2.166 million; $2.166 million.

* McKeldin building at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville. $751,000; $864,000.

* Westminster wastewater treatment plant. $325,000; $325,000.

* Westminster state police barracks design. $164,000; $190,000.

* Robert Moton Elementary School roof. $140,000; $140,000.

* Longwell Branch storm water management project. $100,000; $100,000.

* Taneytown storm water management project. $100,000; $100,000.

* Longwell Branch stream restoration project. $100,000; $99,500.

* Taneytown wastewater treatment project. $50,000; $50,000.

* Manchester water project. $500,000; not in Glendening budget.

* Union Mills Homestead roofs. $100,000; not in Glendening budget.

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