Calvert County will borrow more than $30 million to help fund a wide range of capital improvement projects, including the construction of a high school and the development of a loop road around Prince Frederick.
On Tuesday, the county commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the March 25 sale of $30,274,500 in general obligation bonds for those and other projects.
The action was largely procedural, but it assures funding for projects that were approved well in advance of this week's vote. Construction on the new Huntingtown High School, for example, has already begun.
"These projects have been in the county's capital improvement planning for a number of years," said Terry Shannon, the county's director of administration and finance.
Most of the money being borrowed will be spent on school projects -- $15,293,000 for the county's share of construction costs for Huntingtown High, plus $6,395,000 for the county's share of expansion and renovation of the Calvert Career Center.
Of the remaining money to be borrowed, almost $6 million will go toward initial funding for two major road projects that officials have decided to pay for primarily with county money.
The county will borrow $4,875,000 for the Prince Frederick Loop Road, which will serve local traffic now clogging busy Route 2/4 through the county seat. The road, which is designed primarily to serve drivers seeking access to local businesses, could be completed in seven to eight years, depending on the county's success in acquiring property needed for the project's right of way.
The county will borrow $1,025,000 for initial costs in launching a project to build a "connector" road in the Lusby area. The road, one of the improvements recommended in the approved master plan for the Lusby Town Center, would run directly west from Patuxent High School toward Route 2/4.
The county will borrow more than $1 million for two projects in the Twin Beaches area. Bonds will provide $712,500 in extra funding needed to complete the North Beach Senior Center, which is already under construction. The county will borrow $300,000 to finish interior work at the Northeast Community Center.
Equipment for the College of Southern Maryland project will take $750,000 in bond funds. The college officially launched work its new Prince Frederick campus building project on Friday. Ground was broken in 2001 on the Prince Frederick campus, a 75-acre site off Route 231 at Williams Road between Prince Frederick and Barstow.
Other money borrowed will include $400,000 in additional funding for building the new Prince Frederick Library, $200,000 for renovations to the county courthouse and $124,000 in additional funds for building a new county Fleet Maintenance Facility. The county will need $200,500 for costs related to the issuance of the bonds.
The commissioners also authorized the sale of $20 million in general obligation bonds to be used to essentially refinance "the outstanding 1993 general obligation bonds to lower the interest rate and therefore realize a savings on interest expense of approximately $950,000," according to a memo to the commissioners from Shannon.