TOXIC Agriculture – Focus on farm life and all it entiles with a special section deducated to: wine production, horses, and bees.

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West Virginia will pay Maryland $1.5 million to keep MARC service for a year. Then what?

April 28, 2018: The future of MARC is uncertain. Maryland, which operates the MARC system, threatened to end West Virginia service in Summer of 2018, unless WV paid $3.2 million to continue it (the cost to provide service).  MTA CEO Kevin Quinn says WV has never subsidized the service. In May – the Governor negotiated a $1.5 million compromise to keep service one more year. Rather than sign another 5-year memorandum of understanding, they moved to a month-to-month deal. WV Del. Riley Moore says West Virginia needs to find a way to boost ridership. “When you take the totality of all the riders from WV that ride the train, including the ones that drive to Brunswick, it’s over 800 passengers,” Moore said. “I am absolutely committed to finding a long-term solution.”

West Virginia & Maryland MARC Train 5-year Agreement Ends

February 1, 2018: MARC has been operating trains in West Virginia since the 1970s under a series of intergovernmental agreements between the  states. WV and MD have been in negotiations since October when the 5 year agreement between the 2 states ended. MTA has tried over the years, including when the agreement was last negotiated 6 years ago, to get WV to accept responsibility for funding its share of the program.In 2012, West Virginia’s Legislature appropriated $300,000 a year to fund the service into the state, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, WV Secretary of Transportation is quoted “We are looking at enhancing ridership, and we’ll probably have to partner with local folks, counties and cities. We probably will be asking for monetary support.”

PILOT Agreement is Signed

October 3, 2017: PILOT stands for “Payment in Lieu of Taxes.” Typically PILOT agreements appear to be haphazard, secretive, and calculated in an ad-hoc manner. What’s more, payments in lieu of taxes typically generate relatively little revenue, as a share of overall municipal budgets, and often are not a reliable long-term source of funds. Local governments justify tax abatements by arguing that abated taxes are not lost revenue, since the money would not have been in the city coffers had the development not occurred. While this may be true in some cases, it is all too common for property tax abatements to be given to companies that do not really need them, depriving the city of income it would have had without the subsidy. This is money that would otherwise have gone to fund city services. It is risky granting lengthy abatements, since the city is gambling away up to 30 years of tax revenue on the assumption that without the subsidy, no company would have located there.  (See the Incentives Trap for more info).

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Rockwool and the Owners of Jefferson Orchard records a Land Use Restriction Agreement

October 2017: Rockwool and the Owners of Jefferson Orchard records a Land Use Restriction Agreement prohibiting any type of residential dwelling on the remaining land in Jefferson Orchard that is not zoned Industrial (212 acres of land planned for Transit Oriented Development). With the recording of this agreement – no home, church, homeless shelter, hospice center, nursing home or rehab center is permitted to reside in Jefferson Orchard, officially destroying the chance of having a Transit Oriented Neighborhood as intended for the future of NorthPort Station.