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Leaders call for farmland support

Many area localities are developing farmland protection plans of their own, including Charlton, Ballston and Milton. The Town of Malta held a workshop for landowners on Wednesday, Feb. 25, to discuss ways to employ a $25,000 farmland protection grant.

Municipalities can approach farmland protection in several ways. A popular approach, already employed in Clifton Park, are Purchase of Development Rights programs, in which landowners agree to not develop their land in exchange for reduced property tax rates or other incentives.

In the past, the state has doled out grants like the one Malta received to enable local governments to make such efforts. With the state in a budget crisis, however, the worry is that that funding will evaporate.

The Board of Supervisors also passed a resolution on Tuesday to support a bill introduced by Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, to amend the Condominium Act of 1964. Currently, condo building are assessed as one unit, but under Little's proposal, the separate condos would be assessed separately, resulting in increased property taxes.

The board also approved the purchase of 1,700 pagers for the county's emergency service departments at a cost of $560,000, under the $600,000 budgeted for the item.""

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