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Forever farmland

   There's no question they're serious about farmland preservation in Marilla. It now has 773 acres in permanent easements that can never be anything but farmland.

   The process has been largely grant-funded, but the town has still had to pay 25 to 35 percent of the cost for making sure the hay and corn fields don't turn into mini-mansions. The latest acquisition cost $180,000, plus processing costs. That means it cost the town somewhere over $50,000.

   In Marilla, voters have continued to re-elect the officials who have approved spending that money.

   The question is: How willing are you to spend your tax dollars to assure that the farm down the road won't turn into a housing tract down the road?

  --- Elmer Ploetz

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