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News Release    

November 24, 2003


County Executive’s Open Space Program Will Preserve Linden Farms

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus submitted final proposals today to secure a matching grant award in the amount of $487,957 for the preservation and purchase of development rights on Linden Farms in Red Hook. Grant monies are available through the Dutchess County Partnership for Manageable Growth/Open Space & Farmland Protection Matching Grant Program. A December 8th Public Hearing at 4PM in Legislative Chambers, followed by adoption of the measure by the Dutchess County Legislature are all that stand between protecting this 234 acre parcel in the “Red Hook Breadbasket” from commercial or residential development.

“Success is all about partnerships,” said Steinhaus. “This particular purchase is possible because of our historic farmland preservation initiative compiled with the stewardship of Scenic Hudson. “

This expenditure will bring the County’s commitment of funds to a total of $1,976,673 for eight approved Open Space and Farmland Protection Program acquisitions that protect a total of 1,201.2 acres of Dutchess resources. County Executive Steinhaus initiated the county’s Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Fund, the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley, in 1999.

Dutchess County Legislator, Marcus Molinaro said of the grant award, “The County, in partnership with the Town of Red Hook, Scenic Hudson and the agricultural community, once again asserts its commitments to preserving the very quality and character of our community.”

“No one entity can afford to purchase the best remaining farmland in the Hudson Valley,” said Ned Sullivan, Executive Director of Scenic Hudson, “but in this case, County Executive Steinhaus’ Open Space and Farmland Protection Program made a very important purchase possible.” In participating with the County’s Open Space Matching Grant Program, Scenic Hudson is required to contribute a like amount toward the purchase of this parcel.

“County participation in this purchase, along with Scenic Hudson, helped to inspire the Town to approve the bond,” added Red Hook Town Supervisor Jack Gilfeather.

Red Hook voters have overwhelmingly voted to support continued purchase of agricultural development rights by approving a bond of $3,500,000. The bond will be used to match private, State, conservancy and County funds for further important development-rights purchases. When development rights are purchased, the ownership stays with the private landowner, who continues to pay taxes. Once the property is sold, the development restrictions remain on the land. The recently approved bond money will not be used on the Linden Farms purchase of development rights, but it will be made available for future purchases.

Linden Farms is located at the intersection of Pitcher Lane and Budds Corners Road, an area of densely concentrated farmland threatened by encroaching development and population growth that exceeds the rate of increase for Dutchess County overall. Its farm operation significantly contributes to the agricultural infrastructure in the Town of Red Hook and to their economic base. The terms of the agreement restricts any future development on this land.

Linden Farms was created as a partnership between Frank Migliorelli and Sal Leone in the late 1960s when they purchased a dairy farm and modernized its operations. The partners now lease the highly productive lands that abut Linden Avenue and Pitcher Lane to Ken Migliorelli, Owner/Operator of Migliorelli Farms. Today Migliorelli Farms is an intensive farming operation devoted to the production of fruits and vegetables, which serve three Greenmarkets in New York City, farmers’ markets in Kingston and Rhinebeck, and a newly opened fresh market stand at the corner of River Road and Route 199 in Rhinebeck.

“With various funding entities working together, we can anticipate a total of 2,500-3,000 acres being permanently protected in Red Hook within the next few years,“ said County Planning and Development Commissioner, Roger Akeley. “Red Hook’s reputation as a very special place to live is being enhanced by its bold and imaginative steps to protect its rural environment.”


Dutchess County Open Space/Farmland Protection Program At-A-Glance:
    Property     Municipality       Acreage Grant Amt.   Closing
Mead Orchard Town of Red Hook 100 acres  $77,729   Jan. 2001
Bailey Farm Town of East Fishkill 401.5 acres $609,000   July 2003
Pulver Farm Town of Pine Plains 171.4 acres $236,987   Sept. 2003
Linden Farms Town of Red Hook 234 acres $487,957   Pending
Peach Hill Town of Poughkeepsie 157.6 acres $252,000   Pending
Carnwath Town of Wappinger 95 acres $280,000   Pending
Stissing Lake Town of Pine Plains 41.3 acres $10,000   Pending
Forbus Butternut City of Poughkeepsie .4 acres $23,000   Mar. 2003


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