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Harford County Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti is on a mission to move forward two capital projects that she says haven’t gotten enough respect: a feasibility study for a new Havre de Grace High School, and engineering and design of the high school’s field facilities.

The budget proposed for 2012 by County Executive David Craig, who like Lisanti is a Havre de Grace High alum, includes $250,000 for the school feasibility study and $1 million to build facilities such as restrooms and make other improvements to the school’s athletic fields.

Lisanti told The Record earlier that building a new high school “would involve an awful lot of money,” but she said Tuesday night she wants to eliminate obstacles to getting both the school and the field facilities done.

“As this budget starts to unfold, you start seeing some complexities that are pretty unprecedented,” she said. “We are in uncharted water with these projects because the county executive placed these projects in our budget, not the board of education ... the board of education has not included these two projects in their request to the council.”

Lisanti said that could present a challenge.

“We can keep the funding in, but the board of education is not bound to execute the project,” she said. “It’s an unusual situation.”

Based on the cost of the recently completed Bel Air and Edgewood high school projects, a replacement school for Havre de Grace is likely to run in the neighborhood of $80 million.

Lisanti is putting together an informational package for the other council members and hopes to get one together for the board of education as well.

The county council is due to complete its review of Craig’s budget in the next two weeks. It has until June 1 make any changes and approve the budget.

She said she especially wants to inform other council members that the field facilities project would also help with the project to manage flooding from Lilly Run and thus help the city meet federal environmental standards.

“How this is starting to break open is, the county executive and I have teamed up to express to the board of education how very important that field project is to the people of Havre de Grace,” Lisanti said.

“I’ve been working with the city and the county to enhance this field project to incorporate the flood controls,” she continued. “It’s a really forward-thinking project of using multiple funding sources to get additional field spaces for the high school.”

Lisanti said she has gotten assistance from the Center for Watershed Protection, an environmental group in Ellicott City.

She explained that diverting Lilly Run would dry out the former Tomahawk Field and create an entirely new multipurpose field.

She also said Havre de Grace High is the only high school in the county that doesn’t have restroom facilities at its main fields.

She said the restroom project should have been done a long time ago because it is already 30 percent designed.

“This project really pays for itself,” she said.

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