News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,

May 21, 2001


County Executive Launches Next Step to Save Farmland

Poughkeepsie- . . Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has forwarded to the County Legislature a resolution requesting execution of a preliminary contract with New York State which awards the County $990,000 toward the acquisition of development rights on Silver Ledge Farm in the Town of East Fishkill.

Steinhaus said, "The 401-acre Silver Ledge Farm, owned by Elton V. Van Bailey, is in a key location at the intersection of the Taconic Parkway and 1-84 and conservation of the Bailey property is vital. Development pressure in southern Dutchess and East Fishkill increases every day. Saving Silver Ledge Farm would protect important farmland and preserve an extraordinary vista that is valued by local residents and provides many travelers with their first impression of Dutchess County."

The grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is based on an application to the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act Environmental Protection Fund submitted by our County's Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board. In October, 2000, the Dutchess County Planning Board recommended matching funds for this acquisition be provided from the County's Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Fund. EPF program regulations require the preliminary contract first be approved before proceeding with the project.  Silver Ledge Farm funding is the second of three New York grants awarded to Dutchess County for farmland protection. The first award allowed the County to secure development rights on the Mead Orchards in Red Hook arid enabled the owners to purchase a neighboring property and double the size of their farming operation.

In April, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced a third award: S863,000 to acquire development rights on the 184-acre Pulver Farm, which is the core of a 1,890-acre operation in the Town of Pine Plains. The proposal will be considered for County matching funds at the May 23) meeting of the Dutchess County Planning Board.

County Executive Steinhaus noted the County has been successful in receiving grants from the State for three consecutive years, despite the intense competition for these limited State funds. Mr. Steinhaus said, "Our Open Space and Farmland Protection Fund we created with $2 million of County money gives Dutchess a competitive advantage and allows us to leverage County funds in partnership with New York State. The State has recognized our commitment to farmland protection with State grants totaling more than $2.1 million so far. We expect this successful partnership to continue well into the future."


2001 Press Releases