03/26/15 5:00am
03/26/2015 5:00 AM

To the editor:

Richard Amper should tinker in his own toolbox, not the 2 percent tax fund.

The reason for the land preservation program was to preserve farmland, to keep agriculture viable and, in the process, keep the rural and agricultural character of the five East End towns intact. That goal is still in process, with vast acres of land which could and should still be preserved. Although it is an important goal, preservation of water quality was not the purpose of the legislation.  (more…)

03/19/15 12:00pm
03/19/2015 12:00 PM
TR0807_RE_Laughing2_BE_C.jpg

Children fish from a beach along Peconic Bay in Southold, near the Living Waters neighborhood. (Caption: Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

On April 2, East Enders will celebrate an important milestone: The Community Preservation Fund will have generated over $1 billion and preserved more than 10,000 acres of open space and farmland. Approved by voters in 1999, the CPF uses a small tax on real estate purchases to preserve land and protect drinking water.

It is arguably the most successful land preservation program in the country. (more…)

06/23/14 10:00am
06/23/2014 10:00 AM
A house for sale in Cutchogue. (Credit: MLSLI)

A house for sale in Cutchogue. (Credit: MLSLI)

State lawmakers passed a tax break for first-time homebuyers in Southold Town last week, exempting them from paying the 2 percent Community Preservation Fund tax on mortgages.

But don’t expect the same in Riverhead anytime soon.

(more…)

06/02/14 10:00am
06/02/2014 10:00 AM
The Town recently purchased these 16 acres of farmland across from Lucas Ford on Hortons Lane in Southold for preservation.  (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

The Town recently purchased these 16 acres of farmland across from Lucas Ford on Hortons Lane in Southold for preservation. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file photo)

Southold Town board members are hoping to purchase an easement on a 20.5 acre piece of Southold farmland for conservation purposes and are seeking public comment on the proposal.
(more…)

03/07/14 8:00am
03/07/2014 8:00 AM

These 16 acres of farmland across from Lucas Ford on Hortons Lane in Southold were preserved due to the combined efforts of the town and the nonprofit Peconic Land Trust. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Southold Town’s Community Preservation Fund revenues climbed above the $5 million mark last year for the first time since the global recession sent real estate markets tumbling across the region in 2009.

The jump marks a 31 percent increase from the $3.8 million raised in 2012 and a 65 percent increase from 2009, when the fund took in about $3 million.  (more…)

11/08/13 12:00pm
11/08/2013 12:00 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Marratooka North Farm, an 18-acre farm off Main Road in Mattituck.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Marratooka North Farm, an 18-acre farm off Main Road in Mattituck.

Southold Town has received federal grant funding to help preserve Marratooka North Farm, an 18-acre farm on Main Road in Mattituck.

The town has been awarded a state Farmland Protection Implementation Grant of $530,500 to be used toward buying the farm’s development rights – ensuring the farm remains in agriculture.

The town has spent a total of $1.138 million for the development rights. That’s a figure that includes the federal grant money, with the remaining $607,900 coming from the town Community Preservation Fund, said Melissa Spiro, land preservation coordinator for the town.

Southold Town’s land preservation office applied for the grant in 2008 and was able to close on the deal in July, Ms. Spiro said.

The now third-generation farm grows holiday plants, perennials and annuals in greenhouses, containers and in the field.

Grant funding is provided through the state Environmental Protection Fund and administered by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Long Island Farm Bureau Farm executive director Joe Gergela said, “we’re at the point where every piece of farmland that is able to be protected is critical. There is still a lot of land in Suffolk that isn’t, and every piece of land is important to the future of agriculture.”