July 18, 2003
Steinhaus Pushes Dollars for Wappinger Historic Carnwath Property
Measure to be Considered at August Meeting of the Dutchess County Legislature
Poughkeepsie... Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today
he is sending legislation for a $280,000 funding commitment to the Dutchess
County Legislature to formalize the County's partnership with the Town of
Wappinger's for acquisition of Carnwath Farms.
The Town of Wappinger acquired the Carnwath Farms property in 2000 and has
been developing a master plan for adaptive reuse of its historic buildings
and recreational use of the vast lawns that overlook the Hudson River.
According to County Executive Steinhaus, "The Town of Wappinger was one of
the first to commit municipal funds to qualify for a match from our County's
program. We congratulate the Town for developing an ambitious master plan for
this unique and historic site. I am especially pleased our partnership will
secure a key segment of the Hudson River Valley Greenway that will provide
public access to one of the most spectacular river views in the area."
County Executive Steinhaus proposed the original Open Space and Farmland
Protection Matching Grant Program in his 1999 State of the County Address and
convened a task force of public and private sector partners to develop
guidelines that would allow the County to protect its open space and
agricultural resources. Key to the proposal was the matching grant concept,
which allowed the County to leverage its investment in partnership with
public and private funding programs. The proposal, including an initial bond
of $1 million, was approved by the County Legislature in 2000. The
Partnership for Manageable Growth, approved in 2001, expanded the original
program to encourage planning and participation at the local level.
The Town of Wappinger joined the Greenway Compact in February 2002, and is
negotiating a conservation easement with the County that will insure that
Carnwath's parkland will be preserved permanently.
Mr. Steinhaus said, "I envisioned an Open Space and Farmland Protection
Program based on partnership and collaboration, and I am gratified to see our
Compact communities rising to the challenge. Creating a public park at
Carnwath Farms is a remarkable achievement for everyone involved."
The Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended the County's Partnership
for Manageable Growth/Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant
Program provide a grant to the Town of up to $280,000, or one third of the
cost of acquiring the public open space portion of the 99.6-acre property on
Wheeler Hill Road formerly known as the "Greystone Property."
Since the establishment by Steinhaus of the Matching Grant Program, the
Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended $1,825,966 in for open space
and farmland proposals that would protect 1,206 acres. The Board anticipates
an increase in applications as communities commit to local participation. The
County Executive has committed $7 million to the program to date, with the
goal of protecting at least 10,000 acres of resources over the coming decade.
The resolution will be considered at the August meeting of the Dutchess
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