- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Beaufort County voters have approved plans to borrow $20 million for land preservation.

The Beaufort Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1zvSvnC) voted Tuesday to raise money to buy or arrange conservation agreements on environmentally sensitive property.

More than 73 percent of voters supported the idea. Beaufort County voters have authorized more than $130 million for the land preservation effort over the last 15 years.

Officials say the latest borrowing will add about $10 to the property tax bill for those who own a $250,000 home.

The Rural and Critical Lands program has spent more than $105 million since 1998. They have purchased more than 11,000 acres of land to prevent development. Another $52 million has been spent to arrange agreements with landowners who promise they will not develop another 11,000 acres.



The Beaufort County Open Land Trust manages the program and has identified about $57 million in property it wants to preserve.

Trust attorney Ken Driggers said the program has about $5 million now and is focusing on efforts around the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, as well as the Okatie River watershed.

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Information from: The Beaufort Gazette, https://www.beaufortgazette.com

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