Minot board considers farmland easement program

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MINOT — Selectmen on Monday evening agreed with Town Administrator Danielle Loring to look into allowing conservation easements on farmland in exchange for full or partial property tax reimbursement.

They agreed to set up a meeting with the Planning Board and a representative of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The purpose is to look into the possibility of adopting a Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program for the town. In 2011, the state Legislature passed the program so eligible farmland owners could get an agricultural conservation easement and get full or partial reimbursement of property taxes on their farmland and farm buildings over 20 years.

The board also:

• Announced that Mechanic Falls Code Enforcement Officer Fred Collins Jr. will serve Minot until a new code officer is hired;

• Heard from Fire Chief Jim Allen that his department recently added a firefighter with 15 to 20 years of experience, and a person has applied to be a driver;

• Approved wage hikes of $1 per hour for the town clerk and deputy clerk;

• Approved the recommendation by the Cemetery Committee to raise the cap for landscaping costs of the Memorial Garden on Center Hill Road Cemetery and cleaning of all of the town’s cemeteries;

• Decided to use money from recreation impact fees to expand the parking lot at the recreation complex; and

• Decided to use money from the recreation fund to replace the door on the snack shack at the ball fields.

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