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Commissioners seek volunteers to serve on agriculture panel

December 10, 2003|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners are looking for volunteers to hear complaints from residents about smells, noises and other farming operations.

The County Commissioners said on Tuesday that they would like the Washington County Agricultural Reconciliation Board to be made up of representatives from varied backgrounds.

The five-member board was created when the commissioners approved the Right To Farm Ordinance at the end of October.

The ordinance states that the agricultural industry will be protected from complaints about farming operations.

People moving near farms will be notified that possible inconveniences of those farms, including dust, noises, flies, odors, smoke and vibration may occur during any 24-hour period.

The board was established to listen to and try to reconcile concerns before they end up in court.

Four people were recommended to sit on the board at Tuesday's meeting, but all were representatives of the farming industry.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said if that makeup were approved, it may seem that a person with a complaint would not be given a "fair shake."

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Anyone interested in serving on the board should contact the commissioners at 240-313-2216 or Farmland Preservation Coordinator Eric Seifarth at 240-313-2445.

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