Vincenti 'shocked' by colleague's move to abandon land preservation [Commentary]

Statement from Harford County Councilman Patrick Vincenti regarding budget amendment to strip county funding for agricultural preservation.

As our country’s population continues to increase and evolve, states and communities are struggling to keep a balance of rural and urban living. Acres of land that were once agricultural in nature are now being sold by their owners and redeveloped into housing communities and business parks. Man of these landowners feel that this is the only way to receive fair market value for their property.

In Harford County, we have been able to create a culture that values smart growth and sustainable development in large part because of our agricultural preservation efforts. Our Farm Land Preservation program was created by referendum to voters when our residents decided to make preservation of our agricultural heritage a priority. Farm Land Preservation and the need for revitalization along the Route 40 and 95 corridors are both equally important initiatives in Harford County and I will continue to support a balance of both as our county evolves.

All Harford County residents can benefit from the efforts of our Farm Land Preservation. Preserving our farmland provides food security and environmental benefits as well as saves our county money on infrastructure costs, reducing stress on our public safety and schools all while adding value to new and existing homes.

By continuing to invest in the preservation of Harford County’s agricultural heritage, we can be sure to maintain the high quality of life that our residents and visitors are accustomed to. If all of the above positives as a result of agricultural preservation are beneficial to our citizens, then I believe that the agricultural program is great for Harford County.

This evening, I was shocked to see that a fellow council member would introduce an amendment that would threaten every Harford County resident’s agricultural heritage, abandon land preservation and threaten the very fiber of this county. I adamantly oppose Amendment 16 to Bill 18-006 [the county budget]. I urge you to come and voice your concerns.

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