Md. budget yields millions for county

January 28, 1998

Md. budget yields millions for county


Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS - A new home for Washington County District Court and the renovation of South Hagerstown High School top the list of state-funded construction projects Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening has proposed for Washington County in the coming budget year.

The county's overall proposed allocation of $16.7 million is part of the $801 million capital spending plan offered by Glendening Tuesday and subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, said she was pleased to see included the $5.3 million for the courthouse, especially after state budget officials nearly scrapped the project last year.


"I'm most happy because that's what we've been working for. For once we see the system working correctly," said Hecht, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Construction on the new courthouse on West Antietam Street could begin by fall, said Arthur H. Hilsenrad, deputy secretary for capital budget for the state Department of Budget and Management.

The next single largest piece of spending proposed for the county is $4.1 million for the South High renovation.

Both the courthouse and school projects are being touted as examples of Glendening's Smart Growth plan, which attempts to discourage sprawl by targeting state funds to existing urban areas.

"That's where the real incentive is," said Frederick W. Puddester, secretary of Budget and Management.

Some other areas in the county for which state spending is proposed include:

- Sewer and water. Various municipal systems in the county are to receive a total of $4.3 million under Glendening's proposal. Highlights include $1.5 million for Hagerstown's wastewater treatment plant and $1 million for a shared water system between Keedysville and Boonsboro.

- Prisons. The proposed budget includes $1.2 million in spending for the state prison complex south of Hagerstown, including $887,000 for an upholstery shop at the Maryland Correctional Institution.

Glendening has included more than $12 million in the capital budget for undetermined projects to be decided by the legislature.

Last week, the governor proposed that $81.3 million in state funds go in the budget year beginning July 1 for education, police, libraries and other programs. A transportation budget, which will include projects such as the Halfway Boulevard-Interstate 81 interchange improvements, will be released later this year.

Related stories: Projects proposed for funding in the Washington County capital budget for fiscal 1999.

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