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House Adds $50,000 to Budget Request for Spring Grove Study

Review to look at need for new hospital, uses by UMBC, recreation space and mixed use development.

The House of Delegates Wednesday added a requirement to Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed 2012 budget that would require a study of possible uses for the Spring Grove Hospital Center.

The money would have to be used for a contract with the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to create a redevelopment plan for the aging state mental hospital facility located in Catonsville. The plan would be created in conjunction with the state Departments of Planning and Business and Economic Development.

The amendment earmarks $50,000 in O'Malley's proposed budget for a study of possible uses of the property including the need for a new hospital as well as using parts of the property for University of Maryland, Baltimore County, recreation space and a mixed use development.

The study would also have to review the effects of potential federal Medicaid money and how Tax Incremental Financing can be used. The study would also have to identify how money from the sale of any surplus property could be used to benefit state mental health programs.

The study would be due by September 1.

The House is expected to take a preliminary vote budget and its nearly 170 amendments later tonight.

A final House vote on the amended proposal could come as soon as tomorrow.

The House version of the budget still requires approval of the Senate where it will likely be further amended. From there, a conference committee review is likely.

Adam Cooper March 24, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Conducting a study on the land use is the best thing the Government can do at this point. Right now it is just an eyesore with its delapidated buildings and desolate land. We need to clean this area up to benefit the community and this is a step in the right direction!
michele March 24, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Spring Grove Hospital site is a potential gem that already serves the community. A study to enhance its human services functions will be useful if the study is balanced, thorough, and professionally done. Thousands of Catonsville citizens have signed a petition supporting slightly expanded human services at the Spring Grove campus, including improved hospital facilities, green space and open space, recreation, academic (UMBC) and police headquarters. Moreover, the unique opportunity for open space and green space at Spring Grove has already been highlighted in earlier studies. There is more information on this issue at the CatonsvilleVoices.org website. -- Michele Mazzocco
Laura Daniels March 24, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Its great to see that the Government is taking steps to move forward with a plan! This space is too valuable to to just let it waste away. I am glad the government is exploring all of the possible options and conducting this study.
Bettina Tebo March 24, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Why spend 50k to figure out what to do with Spring Grove. Ask the Community, not MEDCO or developers. Do we really need the Govt to tell us what we want or need? Spring Grove should not be sold off to the highest bidder and I'm afraid with MEDCO having control it will. It is a beautiful historic campus that should be, in part, preserved.
Mike Diartist March 24, 2011 at 08:45 PM
This project has been talked about for years so I'm happy to see that we are finally moving forward to conduct this study. I think the proposed plan for a new hospital and mixed use development is exactly what this space needs.

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