This editorial appeared in this weeks Carroll County Independent. (Highlights are mine.)
A county farm study committee appointed by the Carroll County Commissioners last year after the County Delegation cut $90,000 from the farm's budget has found that the county farm had generated $27,723.954 in profits in the fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The committee's report also noted that in the same period the farm offset $47,942 in personnel costs in the county's Department of Public Works, which, in addition to running the farm, runs the county complex's water and sewer systems and plows and maintains roads and parking lots, along with other responsibilities. “On an annual basis, farm operations reduce the cost of DPW operations by approximately $37,833.20,” the report stated. Despite this report and the continued growth of farming in the county, the subcommittee of the County Delegation (made up of the 15 state representatives from the county) reportedly will recommend closing the farm. Some members of the delegation have openly stated their determination to reduce the size of county government, and closing the farm, like tearing down two wings of the old nursing home at a cost of half a million dollars, is another step in that direction. However, the county farm, like all county property, belongs to the taxpayers, not delegation members, and decisions that involve wasting assets should not be based on political ideology, but facts. The facts are now available. The final decision to close the farm will be made by the delegation as a whole. We urge our readers to call their state representatives and tell them to keep the farm open. The county farm committee report was only a first step for making better use of the county farm. The second step is to look at ways to improve farm operations and its contribution to county revenues as well as agricultural education for county residents. If the farm is closed, that second step will never happen.