Approval by Prince George's County voters of eight bond issues, combined with those same voters' refusal to modify TRIM, the property tax-limiting charter amendment, may require new sources of revenues or result in cuts in county services, county officials said yesterday.
"I'll be working with the state legislature and governor to seek out nonproperty-tax sources of revenue to maintain levels of services and proceed with the bond issues," said County Executive-elect Parris Glendening, who said he does not intend to cut services. Glendening said additional revenue might result from adjusting the formula for state aid for education and law enforcement. But he estimated that inflation will cost the county $56 million more than expected revenues "just to stand still."
"It's going to be very difficult to finance these bonds," said County Council administrator Sam Wynkoop. "It'll be one more thing that will be competing for funds, along with giving police cars and teachers raises."
Voters gave the go-ahead for eight of the nine proposals for construction or physical plant improvements on the ballot, including the construction of a police station for the Beltsville-Laurel area and a new jail in Upper Marlboro.
The approved ballot questions authorized county officials to float a total of $48.5 million in bonds. Principal and interest on the bonds could amount to $5 million to $7 million each year for 15 years and would come from the county's general fund, about one-third of which is financed by property taxes.
William Brown, county finance director, said the council could decide not to float all of the bonds if it found it didn't have the money to pay the interest.
The only issue that county voters disapproved was a proposed $316,000 pedestrian walkway between the county administration building and the courthouse in Upper Marlboro.
"Apparently, the voters thought it was frill," said Wynkoop, who added that it was the first bond issue voters disapproved since 1972.
About $3 million a year in principal and interest would go to finance construction of the $40 million jail. The state will pay for half of the jail's cost.
County officials say the new jail would greatly relieve overcrowding and reduce the number of inmate rapes and other sexual assaults. The new jail will house 300 inmates and will be ready for occupancy by Sept. 30, 1985. It will replace a dilapidated wing of the present county detention center, which was constructed in 1936. The net effect will be an increase of 200 beds.
Voters also authorized a bond sale to construct a $300,000 county police station for the Laurel-Beltsville area. Currently, police must drive from Hyattsville to patrol the Laurel-Beltsville area.
The county will spend $4 million to renovate several fire stations, to relocate the Glenn Dale fire station, and to build additions to the Accokeek, Branchville and West Lanham Hills fire stations.
Roads and highways in the county will be repaired or altered as a result of approval of a $15.2 million bond issue, and $650,000 in bonds will be used to improve county road maintenance facilities, including a garage addition.
The county will spend $5 million to repair or construct parking lots; $2.5 million to repair bus and mass transit facilities, and $800,000 to create a buffer around the Brown Station landfill.