Bond panel hears request for more farm, open space funds

Farming and open space advocates went to Dover asking the Bond Bill Committee to find some money for their interests.

Governor Markell's proposed budget reduces the funding for open space and farmland preservation from $20 million to just $4 million.

Committee co-chair, Representative Quinn Johnson of Middletown says the best way to hold off developers and preserve farmland is to make agriculture profitable.

"Lately that has been what has been happening. Of course we do need to look hard at making sure, especially at these prices now, how much can we preserve in a time that values are lower," Johnson says.

DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara told the panel he'd make the most of whatever funding he gets.

Thursday's hearing was the final look at Markell's capital spending proposal for Fiscal Year 2014.

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