Review of farmland program halted, scrubbed from minutes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A local review of Lexington's farmland preservation program was launched after a federal audit found the city had overcharged for conservation easements.
 
But the Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/2c4tt98 ) that the Rural Land Management Board review was abruptly halted last year, and that a 40-minute discussion of the of the issue was scrubbed from the minutes of the meeting.
 
Spokeswoman Susan Straub tells the newspaper the law department was trying to protect the city from legal liability, not hide the board's actions.
 
Federal agriculture officials are trying to figure out if or how much Fayette County must repay the Natural Resource Conservation Service for the $300,000 overcharge found by the audit.
 
The federal conservation service generally picks up half the cost of buying conservation easements that preserve farmland from future development.

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