The Chesapeake Bay cleanup program survived the onslaught of the Reagan budget cuts, while George Washington Parkway improvements and other local projects worth millions of dollars would be substantially reduced or eliminated.
State and local officials in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia were scrambling yesterday to assess the potential damage and to begin mounting their defenses to protect programs.
"The budget is devastating in terms of what it does to mass transit, Amtrak, which, God knows, is important to Maryland and other Northeastern states. The budget is going to have a very bad effect on Maryland," said an aide to Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.).
In Maryland, two key projects did not get money -- a proposed Veterans Administration hospital in Baltimore and the dredging of the Baltimore harbor.
Likewise, two major Virginia projects lost out. There was no money for dredging the port at Hampton Roads or for construction of an electron accelerator in Newport News, although the physics lab did get $5 million in research money.
The District of Columbia government would lose $17 million in federal aid next year if the revenue-sharing program is discontinued. Also, Reagan's proposal for a 5 percent cut in pay for federal workers could result in a loss to the District of $28 million in anticipated income-tax revenues from federal workers who live in the city.
But Mayor Marion Barry said yesterday that he doubts many of the proposed cuts will be approved by Congress. "As a city government, we're not going to spend time worrying about what will happen until it happens," Barry said. "Right now, we don't know what will get through."
Metro General Manager Carmen E. Turner said she was "pleased" that the administration recommended spending $250 million for subway construction next year, an amount in line with the transit authority's requests.
But Metro officials warned that the administration's proposal to eliminate federal operating subsidies for transit systems would cost Metro $18.5 million a year.
The transit agency also would lose $12 million next year in federal grants to buy buses, renovate bus garages and purchase rail equipment, according to Metro officials.
Turner said the authority may have to consider increasing bus and subway fares, reducing service or seeking higher subsidies from county and city governments to offset the proposed cutbacks in federal aid.
Officials said a nearly 10-cent increase in bus and rail fares would likely be needed to offset the proposed elimination of federal operating subsidies, but they expressed doubt that fares could be raised quickly enough. Turner previously said she would seek to avoid any fare increase before mid-1986.
The Environmental Protection Agency budget includes $10 million for fiscal year 1986 for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, fulfilling a Reagan administration pledge to spend $40 million over four years to clean up the bay. The EPA budget would also add 11 new staff positions, bringing to 16 the number of staffers in the special Chesapeake Bay office in Annapolis, according to the office of Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R-Md.).
But the Reagan administration wants to freeze, and eventually phase out, EPA construction grants to build costly wastewater-treatment facilities.
The National Park Service budget includes no money for park highways, which means that there would be no money for the resurfacing of George Washington Parkway and the widening of the parkway at Spout Run. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said that he is optimistic that Congress will appropriate the money for the local highway work, which is estimated to cost between $8 and $15 million, depending on the plan eventually approved.
Officials in Montgomery County, which receives about $32 million in federal money each year, estimated that several million dollars for low-income housing would be eliminated, as would $9 million in revenue-sharing money, and $3 million in transportation aid.
Richard Ferrara, director of Montgomery County's Department of Housing and Community Development, estimated that the proposed cuts and formula changes in block grants would reduce by 20 to 25 percent the $4 million the county currently gets. Ferrara said that programs that would be affected include group homes for the mentally ill, shelters for the homeless and renovation of low-income housing.
In the Quebec Terrace area in eastern Silver Spring, one of the poorest areas of the county, block-grant money is now being used to rehabilitate apartments, improve drainage systems, build sidewalks and repair roads.
"These are all very expensive and take several years to do," Ferrara said. "We have been planning on the block grant continuing for the next five or six years. Now that looks like it won't happen."
Prince George's County Executive Parris Glendening said yesterday that cuts would cost the county $27.4 million in annual revenues, a loss which could add 35 cents to the tax rate, now frozen at $2.40 per $100 valuation, and weaken the county's fiscal base.
The president's budget, Glendening said, "would, if adopted, destroy that stability and do serious harm to those programs most in need, such as education, transportation and aid to the elderly."
The elimination of revenue sharing would cost the county $12 million, which is now used to pay school utility bills. Some $14 million more would be lost in education, transportation, housing and elderly programs.
Glendening said that "adoption of even some of these cuts will result in increased pressure to raise taxes at the state or local level or to eliminate certain programs."
Officials in Fairfax County, one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country, said they could absorb the budget cuts proposed by the administration, although they would translate into $6 million in lost revenue to the county.
"We're in a better position than most [jurisdictions] to absorb reductions, if necessary," said County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert.
He cited the county's fast-growing tax base, the passage of bonds by county voters and Fairfax's AAA bond rating as signs of the county's fiscal health.
In Prince William County, one of the fastest-growing localities in the metropolitan area, officials were less confident about the effect of the proposed cuts. Said finance director Connie Bawcum, "We could absorb it, but we couldn't absorb it without pain."
Bawcum said the county would lose $1.9 million in revenue sharing next fiscal year if the Reagan budget is adopted, and about $2.5 million the following year. She said the county would probably respond with some combination of revenue increases, such as tax hikes and expense reductions.