I commented on a proposal to preserve the Kratzer Farm property at the last BOC meeting. I’m going to capture video and post later on this week.
The board was asked if they would consider applying the 86 acre Kratzter Farm to a county conservation program that would permanently protect the open space. To sweeten the pot, the program actually pays the township to do it. $5000 /acre. So say 50 acres of farmland on the property gets accepted into the program thats 250,000 dollars directly to the township coffers. I can think of alot of ways this money could be used.
Friends LMT requested a free preliminary review of the property and it ranked very high indicating it is likely funding would be granted.
The response by Commissioners made no sense. Of the two that spoke up, Ron Eichenberg stated “We don’t have time to hold a hearing”. This demonstrates 1. He didnt understand the request, 2. He is clueless or 3. This just happened to the straw he grasped at to make the request go away. First, we only asked for the application to be filled out. It’s no different then any grant application. Second, the board doesn’t ever hold hearings before authorizing staff to apply for a grant.
Another Commissioner went on about the house, driveway and barn. They are earmarked to be sold off. My position is that the house and barn and specifically the driveway should not be sold until the Parks and Rec comprehensive planning committee has a chance to review the big picture. This issue of subdividing this 1.5 acre portion is completely unrelated to applying for permanent preservation mechanisms for the remaining 84.5 or so acres. Again, two separate issues.
Yes, perhaps it would be appropriate for a hearing once it comes time to actually take action. But for now the request was just to keep the door open for further deliberation by applying. To me it’s a no brainer that represents another failure to attempt to protect our remaining open space and farmland.