ELAPP will be on Novemberâ€™s ballot listen07/16/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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Hillsborough County Commissioners today approved placing a referendum on Novemberâ€™s ballot asking residents whether the county should continue to purchase environmentally sensitive lands.
If approved by more than 50 percent of voters on Nov. 4, Hillsboroughâ€™s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) will allow the county to spend up to $200 million to purchase and preserve sensitive lands.
Environmental activist Mariella Smith, a member of the ELAPP general committee, said a poll showed people want to continue the program and now is the time to purchase lands for preservation.
The ELAPP program is funded through a property tax assessment of 25 cents per $1,000 in assessed value.
Former Florida Governor and former Tampa Mayor Bob Martinez will co-chair the campaign for the ELAPP initiative. The other co-chair will be former County Commissioner Jan Platt. In the late 1980s Platt helped found the program. County Commissioner Mark Sharpe said his recent trip to Alaska solidified his support for ELAPP and protecting natural areas.
Commissioners Al Higgenbotham and Rose Ferlita also expressed support for the ELAPP program.
The motion passed 5-0 with two commissioners absent at the time of vote.
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