By Lance Mihm
MONTEZUMA -- Franklin Township was awarded $7,790 from the state's Nature Works grant program to purchase 15 acres of land for preserving area wetlands, according to a press release from 77th District Rep. Keith Faber (R-Celina).
The grants are geared toward natural wildlife preservation in the state. The local grant was a portion of about $2 million dispensed in the 11th round of the awarding session.
The township does not plan to develop anything on the land. Township Clerk Evart Dorsten said it was a continuation of the township's effort to preserve natural land in the area.
"We are purchasing it simply so nothing gets developed on it," Dorsten said. "We want to preserve some of the wetlands here before it all gets developed."
Dorsten said the township currently has purchased about 80 acres of township land for wildlife conservation in recent years. "The trustees are to be commended for their continuing effort to preserve wildlife and wetlands in Mercer County," Faber said.
Dorsten said township officials are in negotiations to purchase the 15 acres, which is located at the corner of Cottonwood and Kittle roads. The township was required to provide a 25 percent match, which Dorsten said already has been secured.