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News Release    

March 17, 2003  

Steinhaus Moves Bailey Farm Acquisition Toward Final Approval

County Executive William R. Steinhaus has initiated the final steps toward approving a grant to purchase the development rights on Silver Ledge Farm in the Town of East Fishkill. The Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended the county’s Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant program provide a match of $609,000 for an award of $890,000 from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. The County will co-hold a conservation easement on the entire farm with the Dutchess Land Conservancy.

Silver Ledge Farm, owned by Elton Bailey, is located at the key gateway intersection of the Taconic Parkway and Interstate 84 in the Town of East Fishkill. Steinhaus said, “The proposed conservation easement will protect 401 acres of productive farmland and wetland habitat, secure the scenic vista that greets visitors to Southern Dutchess, and most importantly, support the continuity of an important, productive farm business in an area that has been subject to dramatic residential development pressure in recent years.”

County Executive Steinhaus initiated Dutchess County’s Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Fund, the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley, in 1999. Since that time, the Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended funding for eight proposals that will secure more than 1,015 acres of farmland and open space. The Board is currently considering approval of proposals to protect another 580 acres and anticipates receiving several additional funding requests for large-scale proposals in July of this year.

Mr. Steinhaus, who reaffirmed his commitment to his resource protection program in his 2003 State of the County Address, stated: “I am pleased to see this proposal move forward, not only because of the extraordinary scenic and agricultural resource that we will be protecting, but also because of the partnership this acquisition represents. We appreciate the major grant from the State, the commitment of time and expertise of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, and especially the personal commitment of Mr. Elton Bailey, whose singular goal throughout this extended process has been to protect his land for future generations.”

The state grant to be matched by the County program was awarded to the County on the basis of an application submitted to the Clean Water-Clean Air Bond Act /Environmental Protection Fund by the Dutchess County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board. The next step in the process moves the project to the County Legislature for their approval.


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