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Groups in line for bond funds

April 03, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland General Assembly has turned down the Washington County Humane Society's $125,000 grant request, but five local organizations are still in line to get up to $550,000 through the state's bond bill program.

The humane society needs to raise another $300,000 for its new $2 million shelter near Maugansville, said Executive Directory Shelly Moore.

Moore still hopes to break ground in July on the 12,000-square-foot building.

Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, said she didn't realize until recently that the legislature does not traditionally fund animal shelters.

"Had we known, we never would have approached the state for funding," Moore said.

The bond bill program, where the state borrows money on behalf of nonprofit organizations statewide, is the only way lawmakers can fund local projects.

Otherwise, they have to rely on Gov. Parris Glendening to add them to his budget.

Under the program, the Hagerstown YMCA is expected to get $250,000, Children's Village $75,000 and the Hagerstown Fairgrounds $75,000.

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The Agricultural Education Center could get between $75,000 and $100,000. The Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League could get up to $75,000.

Because the House and Senate have passed different bond bill plans, the differences will be resolved by a conference committee before the end of the legislative session April 10.

In a typical year, Washington County can expect to get $500,000 worth of state grants.

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