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Council to seek $19 million in loans


The Harford County Council approved this week two bills that will allow the county to borrow nearly $19 million for various projects, including $6.5 million for a new Bel Air library.

The measures were approved with little debate Tuesday night after a brief public hearing. The vote was 6-0, with District A Councilwoman Susan B. Heselton absent. The county plans to sell bonds later this year, while borrowing short-term money in the meantime to get some high-priority projects going, said James Jewell, the county treasurer.

Most of the projects included in the bond bills were part of the recently adopted county budget -- although the council did add $250,000 for the modernization of Churchville Elementary School.

The projects include $1.2 million for a new classroom building for Harford Community College, $315,000 for expansion of the county Detention Center, $3.3 million for the new Forest Lakes Elementary School and $998,000 for site acquisition for future schools and parks.

In other action, the council:

* Heard testimony on a bill that would give hiring preference to military veterans when applying for county jobs. The law would add 5 percent or 10 percent to a veteran applicant's test score.

The county administration asked for the bill on behalf of the county's 14-member Commission on Veterans Affairs.

* Approved a resolution allowing Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company to get a tax-free loan from a local bank to buy a $150,000 fire engine.

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