CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County will receive an extra $1.4 million for farmland preservation because of a special allocation in the 1999-2000 Pennsylvania state budget, enough to preserve an additional 1,800 acres over the next 18 months, according to county officials.
The money is in addition to the $720,000 in state and county funds budgeted in 1999 to preserve the county's best farmland, County Senior Planner Sherri Clayton said. The county also had $300,000 left over from its 1998 preservation budget, bringing the total to $2.4 million.
The $1,436,101 is the seventh highest amount given to any county out of $42 million set aside for 46 counties with preservation programs, according to County Commissioner G. Warren Elliott, who serves on the state's Farmland Preservation Board.
"There was a desire by the Legislature to accelerate the entire farmland preservation program," said Ray Pickering, the director of the Bureau of Farmland Preservation in Harrisburg, Pa. One reason is a backlog of more than 1,500 farms whose owners have applied to the program.