Allegany Commissioners Provide $20,000 To Augment Purchase of State Conservation Easement

An April 27 Cumberland Times-News article reported that the Allegany County Board of County Commissioners decided to provide $20,000 in funding to augment the purchase of a conservation easement under the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.  From the article:

While purchases for Maryland’s agricultural land preservation program usually go off without a hitch, Allegany County Commissioners have learned about a problem with a purchase agreed to back in 2012. In order to support continued participation in the program, commissioners decided by a 2-1 vote to kick in $20,000 from a state transfer tax to help out landowners faced with receiving far less than they expected from the easement purchase.

Once the property was surveyed, it turned out to be much smaller than the landowners thought, cutting about $76,588 from what the landowners expected to receive from the easement purchase, said David Dorsey, county planning coordinator…The $20,000 is designed to “augment the sale price,” Dorsey said. …

Commissioner Creade Brodie Jr. voted against the move, not so much because he had a problem with the landowners, but because he opposes the agricultural land preservation program. The program is voluntary.

“I don’t think the state or anyone else should buy up development rights,” Brodie said.