Balto. Co. Agencies Say They Cannot Handle Suggested Cuts

… Third budget hearing held on Tuesday …

By Raven L. Hill, The Baltimore Sun

8:03 PM EDT, May 10, 2011

Officials from four Baltimore County agencies said Tuesday that they could not absorb an estimated $726,000 in total budget cuts proposed by the auditor’s office.

The County Council reviewed proposed spending plans for the departments of planning, recreation and parks, public works and libraries. The hearing was the third in a series that will be held over the next few weeks as the council reviews County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s proposed $1.6 billion budget.

Public works director Edward C. Adams, Jr., said he’s eliminated more than 50 positions, and has kept only crucial jobs.

“If we left that position in there, we really, truly need it,” he said.

The recreation and parks budget grew about $1 million, partly due to the transfer of police-run recreation centers to its department. Director Barry F. Williams said he does not plan to make major changes to the Police Athletic League centers in the first year.

The council also reviewed the capital budget; no cuts were recommended. Last week, Baltimore County Fire Chief John J. Hohman told the council that he could not spare $700,000 in cuts recommended by the Office of the County Auditor.

Spending plans for the police department, community college system and economic development department are among those that will be reviewed Thursday.

The council is scheduled to adopt the budget on May 26.

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