More Money Available for Ag Preservation in Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

More Money Available for Ag Preservation in Del.

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - It looks like there will be more money available than originally planned this upcoming year for agricultural land preservation in Delaware.

Gov. Jack Markell's budget originally had $2 million set aside for preservation.

That $2 million recommendation has now been increased to $6 million. There's also a request to bring it up even further to $8 million.

Both those numbers are still, though, below the $10 million the ag land preservation program in Delaware this past year. That $10 million helped preserve 55 farms.

The state's Bond Bill Committee is in charge of the money for the program. It started meeting Monday to finalize its budget for the upcoming year. Co-chair Sen. Robert Venables, D-Laurel, says its not just preserving the land he cares about when looking at this money.

"We have a young farmers program that's really successfully tied in with this agriculture program we have. I'm more concerned with that really," he said. "I want to preserve the farmland. But with these young farmers, I want to make sure they have the money available to pay back to start farming."

DEFAC, the group responsible for estimating how much money the state will bring in year to year, Monday put out its final estimate for the upcoming year. It increased the amount available for the budget by about 21 million dollars. Exactly how lawmakers will spread that around will become clear within the next two weeks.

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