Frederick County Refines Agricultural Land Purchase Options

Frederick County has announced refinements to its Installment Purchase Plan, an effort to help spur the protection of the county’s agricultural land. Championed by Commissioner Billy Shreve, and coordinated along with the county’s Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board, the new program will allow a new structure to compete for preservation funding:

The Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board evaluated the valuation and ranking system for the Installment Purchase Program and staff conducted a series of workshops with the advisory board as well as with past applicants of the program.

The advisory board recommended to the county commissioners a change to the valuation system that reduces the price to $8 per point and the base price to $1,000 per acre. The board also recommended incorporating a competitive bidding aspect into the program.

In addition to changing the value, the advisory board recommended that applicants submit an “asking price” for the easement value they are willing to accept. Offers would be made solely on the bid ratio. The applicant that gives the largest percentage discount on their asking price (as compared to the easement value determined by the point system) would receive the first offer.

Read the county’s press release here.

For more information about Frederick County’s Agricultural Preservation Program, click here.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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