Com­mis­sion­ers ap­prove land preser­va­tion funds

Record Observer - - News -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Us­ing state grants and match­ing funds, Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers voted May 9, to al­lo­cate about $500,000 of county ear­marked funds for preser­va­tion as­sis­tance — which will re­sult in a to­tal of $2.5 mil­lion to pre­serve farm­land in the county.

The Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Land Preser­va­tion Foun­da­tion will match each county dol­lar with two state dol­lars to pre­vent, for­ever, farm­land from be­ing con­verted to res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial use. Cre­ated by the Gen­eral As­sem­bly in 1977, the MALPF pur­chases agri­cul­tural preser­va­tion ease­ments that for­ever re­strict devel­op­ment on prime farm­land and wood­land and has per­ma­nently pre­served land in Mar yland.

Donna Landis-Smith of the Queen Anne’s County Soil Con­ser­va­tion District told the com­mis­sion­ers that the max­i­mum they could in­vest was $1.3 mil­lion; how­ever, the funds bud­geted for MALPF were just shy of half of a mil­lion dol­lars. That half a mil­lion dol­lars of county funds cur­rently ear­marked for MALPF coverts to about $2.5 mil­lion. Smith said that there are eight prop­er­ties in the county in the cur­rent ease­ment cy­cle that was sub­mit­ted to the state to par­tic­i­pate in MALPF.

Com­mis­sioner Jim Mo­ran said by us­ing the bud­geted amount — much of which comes from agri­cul­tural trans­fer taxes — the county could prob­a­bly fund four or five of the ap­pli­cants.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land Agri­cul­tural Land Preser­va­tion Foun­da­tion FY16 An­nual Re­port, more than 300,000 acres statewide have per­ma­nently been pre­served. Queen Anne’s County has 166 ease­ments to­tal­ing 28,464 acres of pre­served farm­land and ranks third in the state for to­tal acres preser ved.

PHOTO BY BRIAN SUITE

Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers voted May 9 to al­lo­cate about $500,000 for agri­cul­tural land preser­va­tion.

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