Legislative Delegation Sets Hearing

The Howard County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly will hold a public hearing at 8 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.

This will be an opportunity for residents to address the delegates and senators on statewide issues that will be considered during the legislative session.

If written testimony is prepared, officials ask that speakers provide 10 copies.

Before the formal meeting, the delegation will host an informal reception for Howard County residents in the lobby of the Howard Building.

For more information, call Carol Arscott at 988-9818. Bus Schedule Changes Proposed

The Columbia Association has filed with the Public Service Commission of Maryland to make schedule changes to the Early Bird East 3 bus route.

On trip 1 only, the route would begin 5 minutes earlier than the present 6:49 a.m. departure from Dobbin Center. This would allow the route to connect more efficiently with the MTA 311 route to Baltimore at the Broken Land Park and Ride lot and would permit the ColumBUS to operate through the parking lot for safer transferring. Trip 7 of the Gold route also would begin operating through the park-and-ride lot.

Patrons are reminded that ColumBUS and MTA have a coordinated transfer program that can save money. For more information, call the ColumBUS office at 730-RIDE. The High Cost of Farmland

Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo has asked the County Council to revise its Agricultural Land Preservation Program to allow the county to pay more for farmland.

In a bill to be introduced on Monday, Bobo wants the council to remove a cap that limits the amount the county government can offer rural landowners to 50 percent of a parcel's total value. The request follows the recommendation of a citizens committee that reviews applications for the 10-year-old program.

The county works to protect farmland by purchasing the "development rights" on a piece of land, the difference between the land's total value if it were developed and its value if it is used for agriculture. But with land prices in the western end of the county increasing rapidly, the cap has interfered with the county's ability to compete with developers.