Two areas of the city would benefit most under the 1983 capital improvements budget proposed this week by Mayor Marion Barry--Ward 5, a predominantly middle-class and politically active area of Northeast Washington, and Ward 8, an often neglected and impoverished area east of the Anacostia River.
The two wards would receive about 80 percent of the $22 million in the budget not earmarked for citywide projects, according to a staff analysis released yesterday by City Council Chairman Arrington Dixon.
Barry proposed a municipal construction program for 1983 that totals $88.2 million, or 54 percent less than this year's spending.
About three-fourths of the mayor's budget is earmarked for citywide projects, such as $18.9 million for Metrorail construction and $1.7 million for improvements at the Lorton Correctional Institute.
The remaining funds are to be used to benefit specific areas, with $8 million going to Ward 5 and $9.2 million to Ward 8.
The money in Ward 5 would be used for structural repairs at McKinley High School (the only school repair project included in the budget), renovation of the Washington Center for Aging Services at 2601 18th St. NE and street repairs and lighting.
In Ward 8, nearly all the funds would be used to renovate the Highland Dwellings public housing project on Atlantic Avenue SE near St. Elizabeths Hospital.
The remainder of the $22 million would be sprinkled throughout the city, with Ward 6 receiving 9 percent, Wards 1, 4, and 7 each receiving about 3 percent of the $22 million, and Ward 3 receiving 1.5 percent, according to the Council staff analysis.
Ward 2, the downtown and inner city area that is represented by Council member John A. Wilson, a Democrat and chairman of the Finance and Revenue Committee, would receive none of those funds.
Dixon said yesterday that while Barry's capital budget appeared to be skewed in favor of Wards 5 and 8, he generally agreed with the mayor's priorities.
"Frankly, I'm pleased to see Ward 8 receive this kind of attention. . . and McKinley definitely needs repair work," Dixon said. "It does look like a lot of resources are going into those two wards. But I don't believe it has any political overtones. Those areas need work."
Although it is one of the most depressed areas of the city, Ward 8 has trailed other areas of the city in obtaining funds for community projects.
A study prepared by D.C. budget officials in 1980 indicated that three other areas of the city were receiving more in funds for community projects and water and sewer improvements than Ward 8.
Of the $500 million in community projects under way at that time, 12 percent were in Ward 8, according to city Budget Director Gladys W. Mack. Ward 8 trailed Ward 5 and 6, each with 18 percent of the total, and Ward 7 with 16 percent. Ward 3, west of Rock Creek Park, received 5 percent, or the least amount of the funds.
"Ward 8 really didn't have much going through 1980," Mack said.