Carbon County will spend at least $143,400 to hire a company to draft an open space plan and update the county's 10-year-old comprehensive plan for future land use.
The apparent low bid of $143,300 came from Urban Research and Development Corp. of Bethlehem, which is working with a consortium of municipalities in the Palmerton area to draft a regional comprehensive plan.
Commissioners Chairman William O'Gurek said the county would apply for funding for the project from Gov. Ed Rendell's Growing Greener initiative. County Planning Director Fred Osifat said Carbon solicited the bids to determine how much to seek from the state.
Osifat said a grant would supply 75 percent of the project's cost. The money would be funneled through the state Department of Community and Economic Development and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The open space-greenways plan would catalog native plants, animals and water features, and identify specific land for permanent preservation.
The county would accept land donations for preservation or could raise money to buy land to protect, Osifat has said.