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Farm Preservation

NEWS
April 18, 1993
Cartoon's Brush Was Too BroadOn March 21, an editorial cartoon ran in The Sun for Howard County regarding Howard County redistricting. The drawing was a Caucasian boy trying to explain the reasons why the Centennial district should not be redistricted to Wilde Lake; the boy was unable to defend his reasoning.Behind the boy was a mass of nondescript figures casting a look of scorn upon a befuddled Afro-American boy. The cartoon more than hinted that the reason members of the Centennial district didn't want to be redistricted was because of discrimination.
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NEWS
March 16, 1993
None too soon, the Howard County Council has passed a bill that revises the county's criteria for admission to its farmland preservation program and raises the top purchase price permissible to $6,600 an acre.When the law takes effect in May, the Howard County government can begin saving the best pieces of farmland from the grasp of developers. The window of opportunity has been made even wider by land prices and interest rates suppressed by the recession.In its initial form, from 1980 to 1988, the preservation program couldn't compete with what developers were offering.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff Writer | January 27, 1993
County Executive Charles I. Ecker sent the County Council legislation this week that would tighten the criteria for admission to the county's farmland preservation program and set a maximum price for easements of $6,600 an acre.The program has been on hold since last January, when the council approved $2 million for easements on 353 acres. Property owners who sell easements to the county agree to keep their land free from development.When the program was halted, 30 property owners were awaiting admission to the program.
SPORTS
By LONNY WEAVER | January 24, 1993
"I've got to admit that I really didn't think today was going to be as great as it turned out to be. I don't know what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't what we just enjoyed," said local sportsman Dick Broden as we pulled out of the Foxy Pheasant Hunting Preserve last Monday.Pheasant hunting throughout my central Maryland home turf has declined so sharply over the past decade that my former ringneck gunning pals and I don't even bother anymore. Take Carroll County Bank & Trust Company vice president Bob Chrest, for example.
NEWS
By Carol L. Bowers and Carol L. Bowers,Staff Writer | November 4, 1992
Harford voters overwhelmingly approved a change to the County Charter that will make it easier to borrow money to preserve farmland and another that will streamline purchases.With all 40 precincts reporting, seven of 10 Harford voters yesterday favored Question A, which will allow the county government to use a different method to repay money it borrows on the bond market to pay farmers not to develop farmland.The charter change will let the county repay money borrowed on the bond market with installments that vary by more than 50 percent.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer | October 20, 1992
Four farms -- three near Taneytown and one near New Windsor -- are the first to be admitted into Carroll's critical farms agricultural preservation program.The program, proposed in July 1991 and approved in April, got into full swing by admitting the farms early this month.All four farms had been tentatively chosen from a list of six applicants in July. Applicants had to have a contract on the property or to have purchased it within the past year.The farms were rated on a point scale, giving higher priority to locations that are near other preserved land or that have a high potential for development.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff writer | January 8, 1992
The County Council rejected Monday night a 55-acre parcel for inclusion in the county's farmland preservation program -- the second such holding it has turned down after years of rubber-stamping property submissions.They could have turned down more.Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, wanted to table for at least 30 days bills that would have added five parcels totaling 408 acres to the program.Pendergrass told her colleagues she is "very concerned with the fiscal crisis going on in the county" and the fact that the county may lose another $8.2 million in state aid.Gov.
NEWS
By Kerry O'Rourke and Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer | November 24, 1991
Proposed changes to the state's farm-preservation law could mean fewer Carroll farms would be preserved, two agricultural officials said.The proposals come as fewer farms are being accepted into the program because state money is tight.The recommendations were made by a task force established last spring to look at the state's preservation program, said Paul W. Scheidt, executive director of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.The group recommended two changes in state law, he said.
NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,Staff writer | November 20, 1991
Sponsors of two General Assembly bills that would have taken money from the county's farmland-preservation program and applied it to other uses said yesterday they have abandoned their proposals.Delegate Virginia M. Thomas, D-13A, said her bill to authorize County Executive Charles I. Ecker to take up to 50 percent of the money in the farmland-preservation fund as of Jan. 1 -- approximately $8 million -- and use it for other purposes is no longer needed.Delegate Robert L. Flanagan, R-14B, said he is shelving his bill to remove restrictions from the county portion of the state transfer tax -- approximately $12 million a year -- and deposit that money directly into the general fund, because it could kill the farmland-preservation program.
NEWS
By Jay Merwin and Jay Merwin,Evening Sun Staff | August 1, 1991
Jay Mullican bought his 169-acre farm in Keymar three years ago expecting to sell the development rights on it for cash to finance his mortgage.But since the state transferred money from its agricultural land preservation program this year to ease the state budget deficit, Mullican doesn't know when his check will come, and he worries about keeping the farm.Mullican has exhausted two extensions from his bank on a $24,000 mortgage payment, he says. "I kept telling them I'm going to pay this off when this money comes through," he says.
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