Three more Carroll County farms were approved by the county commissioners for preservation through the year-old Rural Legacy state grant program, and will be voted on by the state Board of Public Works tomorrow.
The Rural Legacy program is the state's second and newest preservation initiative. It provides money to purchase easements on farms and other rural areas to protect them from development.
Carroll purchased development rights through easements on two farms this fall near New Windsor, where the county is focusing its Rural Legacy efforts. If these three deals are approved by the state tomorrow, they will be settled as real estate transactions Dec. 20. Two more farms could be ready for settlement in February, said Bill Powel, director of Carroll's agricultural land preservation program.
The state will vote on these properties tomorrow:
111 acres owned by Truman and Thelma Thompson on Clear Ridge Road, between New Windsor and Uniontown, at a cost of $222,600.
141 acres owned by Joseph and Jane Lippy on John Hyde Road in the Wakefield Valley, near New Windsor, at a cost of $238,415.
128 acres owned by Matthew and Deborah Hoff on Old New Windsor Road, south of New Windsor, at a cost of $315,075. The county helped the Hoffs purchase the farm a year ago by providing $219,126 toward the sale, in anticipation of reimbursement from state preservation program. So of the $315,075 price for the easement, $95,949 would go to the Hoffs, and the remaining $219,126 would go to the county for its Critical Farms program.
Carroll County received $1.5 million from the state in the first round of Rural Legacy grants for fiscal 1999. The county commissioners matched that with $1 million. For 2000, the county received $750,000 from the state, and will match it with up to $1 million, although that amount has not been determined.
The county has not spent all it received in the first round. The process for each farm involves a lot of documentation, Powel said, and it has taken time to assemble it.