Jessica A. Chittenden|
August 15, 2008
$313K FOR TOWNS TO DEVELOP FARMLAND PROTECTION PLANS
Commissioner Announces Additional Funding for 14 More Towns
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced $313,750 in funding to help 14 towns develop local agricultural and farmland protection plans. This announcement is in addition to the $860,000 announced earlier this year for local farmland protection plans, bringing the total amount provided this year to $1,176,195 for 52 towns.
"Local municipalities are taking a more proactive role in the planning and regulation of land use in New York State," the Commissioner said, "and these grants will help them put pen to paper in planning for the protection of viable and active farmland. Farmers need local governments to establish a supportive environment for their business, as much as local governments need farmers to help lower taxes and generate local revenue. I applaud these towns and others that are actively working to make smart growth a reality here in New York State."
The State’s Farmland Protection Program provides two funding sources – planning grants and implementation grants. Planning grants include a portion of the start-up funds in developing an agricultural and farmland protection plan. Implementation grants are used to help purchase the development rights on viable farmland.
The planning grants provide local municipalities with an economic incentive to develop local agricultural and farmland protection plans. These plans help maintain the economic viability of the State’s agricultural industry and its supporting land base and to protect the environmental and landscape preservation values associated with agriculture.
Any municipality, including cities, towns and villages, that are located within a county which has established an agricultural and farmland protection board, are eligible for farmland protection planning funds. These funds can provide up to $25,000 or 75 percent of the cost of developing a local protection plan, which ever is less.
Farmland protection plans should identify the location of farmland proposed to be protected, the value of that land to the local economy, the value of that land as open space, consequences of possible conversion, and the level of conversion pressure on the proposed land. To date, 51 counties have farmland protection plans in place.
Since the program’s inception in 1996, New York has awarded more than $151.4 million out of the Environmental Protection Fund for farmland protection projects, assisting local governments and their project partners in 26 counties to help protect 63,800 acres on 276 farms. To date, nearly half of those project contracts have closed, protecting in perpetuity, 28,138 acres of farmland.
New York State has 7.5 million acres of farmland with more than 34,000 farms.
2008 FARMLAND PROTECTION PLANNING GRANTS
Town of Ancram (Columbia County) $25,000
Town of Berne (Albany County) $25,000
Town of Cobleskill (Schoharie County) $25,000
Town of Groveland (Livingston County) $25,000
Town of Hamden (Delaware County) $10,000
Towns of Homer & Scott (Cortland County) $50,000
Town of Hoosick (Rensselaer County) $25,000
Town of Ithaca (Tompkins County) $25,000
Town of Nichols (Tioga County)
Town of Preble (Cortland County) $25,000
Town of Stamford Delaware County) $10,000
Town of Wallkill (Orange County) $25,000
Town of White Creek (Washington County) $25,000
ROUND III TOTAL $313,750
Round I Total (Announced January 8, 2008) $489,945
Round II Total (Announced February 27, 2008) $372,500
2008 Press Releases