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Kaus resigns from Sykesville council

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Sykesville Town Council is looking for a new member to fill the seat of Julie A. Kaus, who resigned Monday night.

Ms. Kaus, who is serving her second term, attributed her decision to personal reasons.

"I have had a change of priorities and must focus my energies elsewhere," said Ms. Kaus, a licensed social worker who has a counseling practice and a consulting business. "The council work has been a wonderful experience, which I have enjoyed thoroughly. But now, in all good conscience, I can't give it the attention it requires."

Mayor Jonathan S. Herman said he accepted the resignation with regret.

His predecessor, Kenneth Clark, had called Ms. Kaus "a municipal treasure."

Mr. Herman thanked Ms. Kaus, who has chaired the Recycling Committee and helped launch curbside recycling, for her "invaluable input."

At its Aug. 14 meeting, the council will accept nominations for a successor, who will complete her term, which expires in 1997.

"Older areas of town are well represented on the council," Ms. Kaus said. "We should look for new blood, maybe in the newer developments."

Also at the August meeting, the council will vote on a $142,200 capital improvements budget proposed fiscal year 1996, which was introduced Monday.

Town officials are seeking state grant money and will use impact fees collected from developers to help pay for capital projects.

With $27,360 in its general fund and grant possibilities narrowing, the town is "stretching itself too thin," Mr. Herman said.

"We have to allot more each year to capital improvements," he said. "We can't just get by. We are not doing the town a great service by not taking care of its needs."

Councilman Eugene Johnson, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said that without a surplus, the town has little money to repair buildings and roads.

"We should be putting money aside every year so we have it to spend when it is needed," Mr. Johnson said.

All town streets need patching, and College Avenue and Jennifer Way are in the worst condition, said Bill Oler, the town inspector.

Nearly $19,000, about 75 percent of the general fund, is dedicated to road repairs. The town expects to collect $3,700 in impact fees to offset the some of the road-patching costs and hopes grant money will pay for major road projects.

"We have to stabilize all the roads first with patching," said Matthew H. Candland, town manager.

Without additional grant money, Mr. Candland said, the town may have to delay the purchase of a $17,500 police vehicle.

"The good thing about vehicles is that we can make do," he said. "Our most pressing need is for infrastructure."

Also, the town would like to begin improvements to bring the Town House into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We can't afford an addition," Mr. Candland said. "So we are proposing a ramp and an ADA restroom."

He said he would like to apply immediately for grant money to help pay for the renovations.

"We should do it this year, when there is still the possibility of funding," he said.

In other news, the council unanimously adopted an ordinance requiring all bicyclists to wear helmets while riding on town streets.

"The ordinance is not too stringent," Mr. Herman said. "It is an opportunity to give direction where it is very much needed."

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