Howard legislators get more state bond funds than expected

State money may be tight, but Howard County's legislators got more than they asked for from the $15 million bond money available.

The county will get $1.39 million for seven projects, according to Del. Guy Guzzone, Howard's House delegation chairman who also serves on the House Appropriations Committee. The county had requested funds for only six projects.

They include $455,000 to help design and begin construction of Troy Hill Park off U.S. 1 in Elkridge; $250,000 for Columbia Association to begin work on a revamped Symphony Woods park; $35,000 for the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club; $50,000 for the repair and renovation of the Carroll Baldwin Hall in Savage; $75,000 to build restrooms and other facilities at Alpha Ridge Park; $25,000 to build a concrete pad at the same park for the Howard Astronomical League. The pad will hold a telescope for stargazing.

In addition, Guzzone said Gov. Martin O'Malley agreed to add a $500,000 state grant to help the Linwood Center, which aids autistic children in Ellicott City, construct a new building. The state contributed $150,000 to the project last year. This year the school requested the money directly from the governor, who initially did not include it, Guzzone said. He changed his mind after several Howard delegates, including Guzzone and Del. Gail H. Bates, intervened.

Guzzone said that despite the state's budget woes, the $15 million was going to be distributed around the state. "We have a responsibility to bring as much of that money home to Howard County as possible," he said.

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