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[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]
Posted on May 30, 2001:
In my last letter, I wrote about several policy bills that passed the General Assembly Session that benefited Southern Maryland.
Space limitations prevented me from also informing you that Southern Maryland did very well in procuring capital project money from the state. Some was allotted in the governorís budget and some were gained through bond bills that the Southern Maryland delegation and I were able to get passed.
Among the major bond bills that I sponsored or co-sponsored that were approved by the General Assembly included funding for the Calvert Animal Welfare League shelter; the Calvert Boys and Girls Club, the new library slated for Prince Frederick, St. Clementís Island and the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum and Visitors Center.
Southern Maryland got a lot of capital project money from the budget that will greatly benefit education, the elderly and the environment. Budget items include $8,236,000 for the new Calvert campus of the College of Southern Maryland and $850,000 for the Leonardtown campus.
Other higher education projects also received substantial funding. The Southern Maryland Higher Education Center got $1,368,000 and St. Maryís College was allotted more than $6 million.
I was also pleased to see that my efforts to acquire money for the Charlotte Hall Senior Center paid off as $600,000 was given to that facility.
Public schools in St. Maryís County benefited enormously as nearly $12 million went to various projects ranging from construction, renovation and wiring.
More than $11 million went towards health services including alcohol and drug abuse programs, family health and primary care, geriatric and childrení s services, mental health, prevention and disease control and developmental disabilities. For social services, the budget allotted $1,136,000 for the homeless and adult, womenís and child welfare services. Senior citizen services received $177,000 for long-term care and community services. In Calvert County, the school board requested less than St. Maryís did but got most of what it requested. In total, $273,000 was received for renovations and relocatable classrooms.
Also in Calvert, nearly $8.3 million was allotted to health services; $761,000 to social services and $131,000 to senior citizen services.
The bond bills that passed will also be very popular. The Calvert Animal Welfare League shelter will help unburden the overcrowded Tri-County Animal Shelter located in Hughesville. And while I wanted to get more money for the Boys and Girls Club of Calvert than we were able to procure, I was still pleased we were able to get what we did for this extremely worthy organization that is really growing in Calvert County. I am proud to see it progressing so nicely and will be back next year trying to win even more money for the organization.
History buffs will be pleased with the bond bills the Southern Maryland Delegation and I were able to secure for St. Clementís Island and the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. The bond money for St. Clementís Island will be used as a grant to the Board of Directors of St. Clement's Hundred, Inc. for the planning, design, and construction of a memorial structure that replicates the outline of the former St. Clement's Island Lighthouse. It is to be located near the original site at St. Clement's Island State Park. I am sure this will be a big tourist attraction on Marylandís birthplace -- our Plymouth Rock.
The vision for the naval museum is for it to be similar to one of Washington D.C.ís most popular places, the National Air and Space Museum. So instead of driving 60 miles into D.C., Southern Marylanders will soon be able to see exciting exhibits detailing all of the historical events and people that have made the Patuxent River Naval Air Station one of the most recognized military bases in the world. Some of the people I referred to include former U.S. Senator, presidential candidate and Mercury astronaut John Glenn as well as Mercury astronaut Alan Sheperd -- the first American to be rocketed to space -- and Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell. It was Lovellís courageous and brilliant command of the disastrous Apollo 13 mission that brought him worldwide plaudits and recognition. All of these men received their test flight training at Pax River.
The St. Maryís City Commission, which has really hit its stride and is doing some remarkable things of late, received $225,000 for the Maryland Heritage Project and $540,000 for the St. Johnís Archaeological Site.
Another historic place in St. Maryís County -- Point Lookout State Park -- also received substantial funding. For improvements to ramp and floating piers, stone pavement and sewerage improvements, Point Lookout State Park received $788,000.
As a rural area, it is not easy to fight for and receive this much money in the budget and through bond bills. But fight we did and Iím proud that the Southern Maryland delegation, noted throughout Annapolis as one of the most unified delegations in the state, worked so well to bring home a lot of money that will greatly benefit our area.
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