March 9, 2020 Volume XVII, Issue I
Chairman’s Message We know it has been awhile since you have heard from us, but that does not mean we have been idle. We have been working with Concerned Citizens of Western Howard County, CCWHC and Howard County Citizens Association, HCCA on a number of issues, the most urgent is the irresponsible installation of commercial/industrial facilities on farmland that is in the Howard County Agricultural Preserved Land Program. Those “Farmland Forever” signs you see on 216 and elsewhere throughout the western county have cost us taxpayers $300,000,000! Not only that , your real estate taxes are higher to make our for the lower taxes on the farms, and the tax-free interest paid to the farmer. On top of that the farmer is getting $1,800 to $2000 acre per year to take his farm land out of production. The going rate to rent farmland for farming is $100 per acre.
GHCA, combined with CCWHC, HCCA and others have been successful in urging the Agricultural Land Preservation Board to re-evaluate and change their criteria to much more restrictive and reasonable requirements. and in promoting the formation of a County Taskforce to evaluate the program going forward.
However, six projects have slipped through the first stage of approval, and two projects through the second and final stage. We are continuing to oppose these projects at various levels of appeal. Legal advice and representation are now a necessity. Please renew you memberships so that we may contribute to the legal fund.
Postal Service Issues GHCA Member, Steve Thomas has been our representative and advocate to the USPS for a number years. Starting first at the local level, he has now worked his way up through the bureaucracy to the level of a regional manager who wants to come to our next membership meeting. Highland has experienced delivery problems for almost two years. You have received a letter that states old mail was discovered and now could be delivered. Many have received mail over a year old. The former postman a=has been dismissed and an investigation is ongoing.
However, we are still having delivery problems, and suspect you are too. Please email me so Steve and I can compile the status of delivery over the last 2 months or so. Mark the subject USPS and send it to Dan O’Leary
A NOTE IN PASSING Long time Highland resident, dentist Dr. John Baar, died peacefully at home this past week. We remember John fondly as the Beer Meister of the Highland Day beer garden. His father was a brew master who headed up numerous brewing operations across the US, so John’s special skill at tapping a keg and deftly pouring a frosty tall one, came naturally. Thank you, John. We raise our glass to you!
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