Farmland protection draft open to input from public

With cutbacks made in the state Department of Agriculture, grants for PDRs will likely become very competitive, however.

Preserving open space not only creates a pleasing environment, but keeps the town's government small and a town tax nonexistent because fewer services need to be provided, according to Grattidge.

"The old saying, cows don't go to school, that rings true," he said. "In the long run, it's definitely more cost effective if the land stays farmland rather than become another subdivision."

Once the task force takes the public's input into consideration, a final draft of the agricultural plan can be written and submitted to the Town Board. Once adopted, it will serve as a guiding document for the town, not unlike the recently completed comprehensive plan.

"We'll certainly be looking to get input from the residents, the landowners and the farmers on some of the ideas we have out there," said Grattidge. "We want this to be a very transparent process."

The draft plan can be viewed on the town's Web site at www.townofcharlton.org.""

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