Thursday, October 31, 2013

State Provides Money for Farmland Protection Plans

From the state Department of Agriculture and Markets:

The state is providing $150,000 to help four municipalities (3 counties and 1 town) develop local agricultural and farmland protection plans.

Planning grants, an integral component of the state’s Farmland Protection Program, are being provided to Jefferson, Steuben and Ontario Counties, as well as the Town of Milton in Saratoga County. 

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 protect the environmental and landscape preservation values associated with agriculture. Under this program to date, New York has helped fund agricultural and farmland protection plans in 77 towns and 13 counties.

Any municipality, including cities, towns and villages, located in a county that has an agricultural and farmland protection board is eligible for a farmland protection planning grant. These funds can provide up to $25,000, or 75 percent of the cost of developing a local protection plan.

The planning grant program is also open to counties that have an approved agricultural and farmland protection plan that is ten years old or older. Those counties may receive up to $50,000, or 50 percent of the cost of updating the current plan or developing a new county plan.

For more information on funding, please visit: http// opportunities.

Agricultural and farmland protection plans should identify the location of farmland to be protected, the value of that land to the local economy, the value of that land as open space and the consequences of possible conversion. The plan should also describe the programs and strategies the local government intends to use to promote and protect continued agricultural use.

Jefferson County and Ontario County are receiving $37,500 each, Steuben County is receiving  $50,000 and the town of Milton is receiving $25,000.

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