My position on the Kratzer Farm open space

Position Statement Kratzer Farm
Importance/overview: The Kratzer Farm is centrally located in Lower Macungie Township. It’s strategic centralized location makes it immediately accessible to thousands of township residents easily and safely within walking distance. The park was purchased by a previous Board of Supervisors 15 years ago for the intent of land preservation in a rapidly growing township. The scenic landscape and fertile limestone soil make this a community treasure. The adopted greenway plan will further improve walking access and functionality of the park making it a potential township “Central Park”. The Kratzer Farm should be a destination, centerpiece and focal point of the greenway system preserved permanently as a nature preserve, passive park, community garden and working farm.

The Kratzer Farm – Township Owned Open Space strategically located in the center of the township

1. The house, barn and driveway should not be sold until the results of the Parks and Recreation comprehensive plan is complete. The farm specifically should be the focus of an agenda item at a future parks and recreation comprehensive plan meeting. The committee should be the body that determines whether the house, barn or driveway presents any value in regards to the overall goal of a permanent centralized large passive park.
2. The farm should be permanently preserved as soon as possible. To accomplish this goal:
A. The township should apply to sell agricultural conservation easements to the Lehigh County. The annual deadline for submitting an application is March 31st. According to a representative from the program the parcel would likely be valued a high priority since it contains fertile limestone soil. Currently the program is paying up to 5000/acre for preservation. I am estimating proceeds of selling the rights (the township still owns the property) could net up to 250,000 dollars.
3. Proceeds from sale. If the house/barn and driveway are sold after a comprehensive evaluation of all potential uses of the property and specifically the driveways role in future greenway as either a trail section or entrance to a trailhead, then the proceeds should be earmarked for park improvements on the Kratzer farm.