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Malta moving to protect farmland

Letters will be sent directly to those whose land is coded as agricultural informing them of the meeting, but the workshop will be open to any interested parties. The hope is to attract landowners from neighboring towns, as well.

"We're at the point now that we need to pull in landowners and other residents to form other committees and sub-committees," said Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Ball, who has been working on the plans.

Also at Monday's meeting, the Town Board approved an increase of the town's recreation fees. Developers will now be charged $1,150 per residential unit, a $150 increase that Supervisor Paul Sausville attributed to inflation since the fees were last modified four years ago.

The recreation fees go toward developing recreation services within the town. There has been talk of building and expanding recreational opportunities lately, including the construction of ballfields at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. The board argued that the fees free developers from providing their own recreation solutions and provide better, centralized facilities for residents.

"This fee is in part a way for developers not to have to build recreation into their projects," said Councilman Peter Klotz. "It's the new developer paying for the recreation in turn, rather than the taxpayers as a whole."

In part a response to the impending construction of a nearly 1 million-square-foot microchip manufacturing facility at LFTC, the town's two fire departments will be sitting down with town officials and Foundry Company representatives to determine the scope, cost and mechanics of creating a new fire protection plan for the town.

The Round Lake and Malta Ridge Fire Companies, who together provide fire protection for Malta, approached the Town Board last month expressing concerns about their future ability to effectively provide their services, especially considering the likelihood of growth in the town. Though at that time they tentatively ballparked the study's cost at $40,000, the committee authorized on Monday will be drafting that estimate.

Foundry is set to provide the town with $100,000 for studies upon approval of a site plan, expected in the coming months.""

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