The Carroll County Delegation met today and made some progress in setting the budget for 2016, and has pledged to spend as much time as needed next Monday to complete it.
One casualty seems to be the County Farm. The Delegation cut the budget to the farm with the intention to eventually cease operation.
According to the County Farm website, "The Carroll County Farm has 894 acres of land within its responsibility. About 120 acres of that are hay fields, which produce about 10,000 bales of hay each year. The remaining land is forest land, from which the farm harvests about 120 cords of firewood each year to sell to the public. The farm also produces vegetables and blueberries for use at the Mountain View Community nursing home and for sale to the public. All of the extra vegetables and berries are donated to local food banks. The Carroll County Farm also partners with the UNH Cooperative Extension to provide different agricultural education opportunities for the public. Farm staff are also responsible for all of the outside maintenance on the complex, the water department, and the waste water department. Inmates serving sentences at the Carroll County House of Corrections work on the farm under supervision. "
I learned to day that the farm crew is also responsible for the exterior grounds maintenance of the county complex, snow removal in the winter and is responsible for maintaining the three county emergency generators, and emergencies dealing with propane on the complex falls on the farm crew as well. Another responsibility is the Sewer Department which processes all the waste water created on the complex. We have a sewer plant that takes raw sewage and processes it to a level that it can be distributed into a leach field. It is unclear if these additional services by the County Farm will be impacted by the impending farm closure.
There has been considerable opposition to the farm closure. The Carroll County Farm Bureau posted this on their web page:
Dear Carroll County Farm Bureau Members & Friends,
As all of you may know or not know, there is an attempt by a selected group of county Representatives/Delegates to stop all function of the Carroll County Farm in Ossipee by defunding its operations.
This is a political move by some who appear to have the Washington, DC attitude that they know what's best of us and we the people should be silent (at least that's my opinion.) The Carroll County Farm belongs to us the people of Carroll County and not to those elected representatives. As soon as the vote is taken on this issue by the Delegation, I will forward another alert identifying each representative by name who voted to stop Farm operation and defund it. I will also thank the representatives who continue to support our farm.
I don't know if closing the farm will really save as much money as the majority of the delegation seems to believe. I have not seen a study from either side that spells it out. It would seem though that the delegation has made it's decision.