MOUNT VERNON — Advocates of rural preservation told the Knox County commissioners Monday that their proposal for creating a new Knox County Agricultural Easement program will have to wait until the end of January or February to take form.
Richard Stallard, executive director of the Owl Creek Conservancy; Lisa Schott, director of the Philander Chase Corp., and Doug Givens, former director of Chase and one-time chair of the Farmland Preservation Task Force, had planned to bring a proposal to the commissioners for reviving something like the Land Preservation Task Force. However, speaking for the three, Givens said the state is in the process of changing rules concerning local advisory boards or cooperative agreements, and until the new rules are set, they can’t offer a concrete proposal.
He did say the state has allocated some $3 million to be distributed to counties for obtaining easements that can prevent agricultural land from being converted to other uses.
About the only thing that is definite is that the commissioners will need to provide a letter expressing the commissioners’ commitment to agricultural land preservation, which is something commissioners have done in the past for participation in the old state program.
Givens said they hope to know enough to meet again with the commissioners at the end of January.
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