Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, September 13, 1980, Image 15
m I* Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Penrose Hallowed discusses the amendment of Act 442 with Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board Chairman Amos Funk; Conservation District Administrator Tom Johnston: and " 'County Commissioner Jim Huber. -.>r' A .A 'X ■:*} (Continued from Page Al) tag still needs the okay of the County Commissioners, he said. Jim Thomas, the ap pointed attorney for the Preserve Board stated it is possible now for a municipality to set up an agricultural preserve board. However, he pointed out that if a ruling by the local board would be questioned in a court of law, it might be possible to not have the state authority to make such rulings. The amendment to Act 442 would provide this right to the appointed Preserve board. A question from the crowd prompted Thomas’ ex planation on how the deed restriction would work. He noted that the sale of a Act 442 Lancaster Farming, Saturday, September 13,1910—A15 tarm is not necessary in order for it to get into the deed restriction program. “The township or municipality sets up their agricultural district boun daries and appoints a Preservation board. Then, on a voluntary basis, far mers can elect to sign up in the deed restriction program.” Whether or not a farm is to remain in farmland depends on the local zoning or dinances, he pointed out. “Act 442 merely pays the farmer for keepmg his land m agriculture where zoning restricts the land use on the farms without any reimbursement.” Lancaster County’s Farmers’ Association President Earl Newcomer remarked, “If farmers don’t sell their development rights, they’re just giving them away.” It seemed to be the con sensus of those present that something needed to be done to get ag land preserved. “We’ve been waltzed around the idea of preser ving agricultural land for years,” said Bernard Hankin, farmer and president of the Penn sylvania Builders Association. “What we need now. is enabling legislation stop nit-picking about the amendment language and compromise if necessary.” Gerald Erb, a Mount Joy dairy farmer commented that he was dissatisfied with the $250 an acre reim bursement. “Farmers should be reimbursed at the fair market value,” he said. “You’re telling me I have to sell my land at parity like I do my milk. And all the while farmers are subsidizing society by borrowing money against their land to stay m operation.” To help assuage Erb’s sentiments, Aaron Stauffer explained that the agricultural preservation plan in Ephrata Township calls for the land develop ment rights to be purchased at the fair market value. A 1 Myers, of the Penn sylvania Farmers’ Association in Camp Hill commented that Act 442 should address all soils, not just prune farmland. He also questioned whether farmers would be getting fair com pensation at $250 an acre. SANDBLASTING REPOINTING WATERPROOFING From repairing drafy, leaking walls to complete stucco removal and repointing, exterior restoration of farmhouses is my specialty! REASONABLE RATES JAMES H. DOSTER 507 South Spruce Street Lititz, Pennsylvania 17543 For information or a free estimate, return coupon below. m Address State Zip Phone: Area Directions to your home: Name City His comments were based on current PFA policies. A spokesman for the State Association of County Commissioners stated then group is cautious but sup portive of Act 442. He said the Association felt the local boards would have too much power, and he wasn’t clear on the relationship between the commissioners and the board. Chairman Funk then explained the com missioners would appoint the agricultural preser vation board members in their respective county’s, therefore having some control on who would be making the preservation decisions. Bill Fory, President of the Lancaster , County Developers Association, stated he would love to see all the farmland saved. “But on the other hand,” he said, “I see low-income loans being given to get industry into the area. That brings people into the county and these people need places to live.” Hankm said he agreed with Fory’s sentiments and added that farmers need to remember the developer and builder are not the villains in the preservation effort. Wien Funk confronted Secretary Hallowell about when the needed legislation would be forthcoming, Hallowell commented that neither he nor Governor Thornburgh can introduce the legislation. He pointed out that the legislature will be coming back only for a short time between now and January. He said he felt it would be difficult to get it passed before they recessed. However, he said he is op tomistic that it will passed by July, 1981.