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Several projects in Carroll County will see state funding because of grants and contracts approved recently by the state's Board of Public Works.

The governor, comptroller and treasurer make up the board and awards and cuts certain state funding.

The board awarded $100,000 to the town of Sykesville for Jones Park, a neighborhood park off Kalorama Road, in Sykesville, and $26,248 to the town of Hampstead to reconstruct the Melvin Miller Park tennis and basketball courts.

The money comes for the Program Open Space fund for park improvements. POS is funded by fees attached to home sales.

Sykesville plans to replace playground equipment at Jones Park, as well as improve the fencing and place a rubberized surface on the ground, Town Manager Matt Candland said.

The equipment is 15 to 20 years old and beginning to deteriorate, he said. It's possible the project could start in October, but is likely to start in the spring.

"We feel comfortable we can get the project done with that amount of money," he said.

Hampstead Town Manager Ken Decker said the $26,248 for his town's project is "well short" of what's needed to repair the aging courts.

"Given the age and the condition of the courts, they probably should be reconstructed," he said.

That would have cost more than $100,000 he said. Instead, he anticipates taking a "Band-Aid approach."

"We'll stretch the nickel as far as we can go," he said.

The town has to match 20 percent of the grant, which comes to more than $5,200.

Also impacting Carroll County, the state board approved a lease for the Department of Social Services' offices at the West Branch Trade Center in Westminster.

"We think it's a great opportunity to better serve our customers," said Elyn Jones, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Resources.

The department will move March 1, 2010, from 10 Distillery Drive to 1232 Tech Court, Suite 1, in Westminster.

The annual rent is $406,500, and the lease is for 10 years with one, five-year renewal option, according to the board's Web site. Jones said the current space has the 131-person staff spread over three floors, and lacks free parking.

The new space will allow staff to be on one level and offer free parking, as well as being a more energy-efficient building.

In other approvals, the Board of Public Works awarded a $157,800 contract to Urban Francis LLC to install a new electrical system at Springfield Hospital Center's old central kitchen building in Sykesville.

The board also awarded Chilmar Corporation a $254,000 contract to add central air conditioning to a dormitory at the Public Safety Educational and Training Center, also in Sykesville.


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