Source: Capital Gazette, Chase Cook
Anne Arundel County will receive about $12.5 million in capital funding to improve nonprofit headquarters, mitigate flooding and upgrade school athletic facilities after lawmakers finalized the Maryland budget last week.
This money is part of the annual tradition that gives lawmakers a set amount of money for local projects but forces them to make the difficult decision of who gets funding and who doesn’t.
Every year someone gets partial or full funding while others are left off the list. Delegates and senators get to show constituents how they improved their districts.
Selected grantees include larger projects like $1 million to Annapolis for flood mitigation and $3 million to Historic Annapolis for repairs and renovations to the Brice House and other historic properties.
Another $1 million is being given to Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating for its adaptive boating center on Back Creek.
Lawmakers don’t overlook smaller projects, and this year provided $13,000 for John Marshall Park to upgrade the playground and pavilion structures. Another $50,000 will go to the Annapolis Compassion Center for HVAC, entryway and roof repairs.
The center opened in 1977 and it’s the first time it has asked for state funding, the Rev. David Maack said. The center is run by the Lutheran Mission Society.
The faith-based group accepts donations, selling them for a small fee to low-income shoppers or giving them away to people who need help.
“We average about 300 to 500 people a week walk through our doors for help,” said Maack, executive director of the society. “We also have bible studies and worship services here.”
This year, Anne Arundel County lawmakers made an effort to focus on groups providing a service to the community, with an emphasis on mental health, domestic violence and addiction treatments, said Del. Alice Cain, D-Annapolis. The county delegation asked Cain to take charge of local bond bills.
Cain lamented that the delegation couldn’t fund every request — there were about $7 million in requests — and lawmakers had to make tough choices.
The House selected project totaling $575,000 with the Senate choosing $568,000. These projects are funded as bond bills, meaning they go through local delegation debates before final approval in the budget.
“I was happy that in the end we really focused on the programs that really helped people in need,” Cain said. “And I think that was reflected in our recommendations.”
Adaptive boating center
Many of the projects awarded to Anne Arundel County were added to the capital budget during the negotiation process. That isn’t true for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, which was set to receive $1 million in the governor’s first proposal on the budget.
CRAB offers water experiences to people who may not otherwise have easy access to the Chesapeake Bay. This includes work with the disabled, special needs, veterans and at-risk youth.
As the program has grown, CRAB has a vision of an adaptive boating center along Back Creek to expand its work on the water.
State records show the organization is targeting 7040 Bembe Beach Road, currently home of Port Williams Marina. The site was listed for sale on LoopNet.com but that listing has been taken down.
CRAB executive director Paul Bollinger Jr. declined to comment on the proposed location, but he did say the organization would announce its new home after the sale was finalized.
Here is a breakdown of funding in the Maryland capital budget. These grants are a mix of local bond money — dished out by local lawmakers — and other funding sources from within the capital budget.
- $1 million in flood mitigation money for Annapolis.
- $1 million for the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating adaptive boating center.
- $3.1 million to Historic Annapolis, mostly for management of historic properties such as the Brice House and repairs to the organization’s main building.
- $400,000 to the Young Women’s Christian Association for domestic violence safe house shelter and the education and wellness center.
- $1 million for the new Brooklyn Park Athletic Complex.
- $1 million for Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and its continued renovations.
- $500,000 for improvements to the Glen Burnie High School stadium
- $1 million for Bates Middle School outdoor recreation improvements
- $200,000 for the North County High School field house.
- $100,000 to the Arundel Lodge for HVAC system repairs.
- $25,000 to the Deale Volunteer Fire Department for improvements to the building, kitchen.
- $150,000 to Chesapeake Arts Center for building upgrades.
- $387,000 to Anne Arundel Health System for construction of North Hospital Pavilion at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
- $50,000 to the Annapolis Compassion Center for building improvements and repairs.
- $175,000 Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park for McNasby Oyster Company building exhibition space.
- $200,000 to Chrysalis House Child Development Center for center repairs and improvements.
- $100,000 for Maryland City Athletic Complex lighting upgrade.
- $100,000 to Pascal Crisis Stabilization Center for improvements.
- $75,000 to Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds for improvements to access roads, parking lots.
- $25,000 for Cape St. Claire beach replenishment.
- $125,000 to Chesapeake High School for stadium upgrades.
- $13,000 to John Marshall Park improvements to playground and pavilion structures.
- $37,000 to Ralph J. Bunche Community Center for improvements and repairs.
- $1.715 million in funding for the county’s new central holding and processing center.
- $1 million in flood mitigation money for Annapolis.