The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-5182.
MINORITY BUSINESS CHARTER AMENDMENT -- The council voted to place a referendum on the 1988 ballot asking voters if they favor amending the county's charter to allow officials to set aside 30 percent of county contracts for minority-owned businesses.
Last week a divided council, with two members absent, failed to approve the same county charter amendment bill. However, the council did vote to voluntarily begin increasing the number of contracts the county awards to minority businesses.
The decision to seek voter input was 6 to 3, with members Anthony Cicoria, Richard Castaldi and F. Kirwan Wineland dissenting. In last week's vote, council members James Herl and Castaldi were absent.
Any proposed charter changes need six council votes for approval.
The policies approved last week include a stepped-up effort to identify minority firms and the creation of a commission to oversee the county's dealings with minority firms.
SCHOOL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS -- The council authorized the Board of Education to submit to the state a request for $16,391 for school improvements.
The board needs council approval for the submission, which must be made by Dec. 7.
Among projects county officials need money for are renovations at Frederick Douglass, Bladensburg and Northwestern high schools and Greenbelt Middle School. If approved, the projects will cost the county $30,472. The figures are based on a state formula that splits costs between the county and the state.
However, a state task force that is now reviewing the formula has recommended that local governments use a sliding-scale formula requiring wealthy counties to pay up to 50 percent of construction costs while poorer counties pay what they can afford.
The recommendation requires the approval of the governor and the General Assembly.
HOMELESS FINANCIAL AID -- The council granted the county Department of Social Services permission to spend two federal grants it received to pay for services at public and private shelters in the county.
A $119,000 grant will be used to help pay operating expenses of the only county-operated shelter, on Addison Road. It has been filled to its 40-adult capacity since it opened in May, said Paul Byfoss, resource development coordinator for the county's homeless.
A second $182,000 grant will be used to supplement operating costs at nine privately-operated emergency shelters in the county.
Byfoss said several hundred homeless people are expected to seek shelter in the woods and in cars because the county does not have enough shelter beds to accomodate them.
The county has 310 homeless people on any given night, according to a 1986 study by the state Department of Human Resources. However, there are only 115 shelter beds available in the county.