Washington County briefs

October 31, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

Farmland easement list approved

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-1 to approve a list of 25 applicants for state farmland easements.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire voted against the list, which ranks county farms in terms of eligibility for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Program.

Every year, the state buys easements from local farm owners. Under the easements, landowners are paid a sum of money in exchange for restricting development on the properties forever.

The state will spend $2.01 million on easements in Washington County under the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Program. The county will contribute $1.34 million to the purchases from its agricultural transfer tax fund.


The farms are ranked based on several criteria and will be bought in order until the funds are exhausted.

Eric Seifarth, the county's land preservation planner, said the money likely will pay for easements for the top four or five applicants.

Aleshire said he disagreed with the weight some of the criteria were given. Seifarth said he would take Aleshire's concerns to the Agricultural Advisory Board, which compiles the rankings every year.

Change order OK'd for Boonsboro Library

A $52,330 change order was approved Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners for the new Boonsboro Library.

The change order will pay for design and geotechnical fees and additional administration costs, said Joseph Kroboth, the county's public works director.

The total budget for the project is $2,463,614.

The library is expected to be finished by the end of November.

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