New York Agriculture & Markets Law

Sec. § 325
Agricultural Protection


1.

Subject to the availability of funds, a program is hereby established to finance through state assistance payments the state share of the costs of locally-led agricultural and farmland protection activities. State assistance payments for planning activities shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars to each county agricultural and farmland protection board or one hundred thousand dollars to two such boards applying jointly, and shall not exceed fifty percent of the cost of preparing an agricultural and farmland protection plan. State assistance payments for planning activities shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars to each municipality other than a county or fifty thousand dollars to two such municipalities applying jointly, and shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the cost of preparing an agricultural and farmland protection plan. A county which has an approved farmland protection plan may after one hundred twenty months from the date of such approval by the commissioner apply for additional state assistance payments for planning activities related to the updating of their current plan or development of a new farmland protection plan. Such additional state assistance payments shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars to each county agricultural and farmland protection board or one hundred thousand dollars to two such boards applying jointly, and shall not exceed fifty percent of the cost of preparing an agricultural and farmland protection plan. State assistance payments for implementation of approved agricultural and farmland protection plans may fund up to seventy-five percent of the cost of implementing the county plan or portion of the plan for which state assistance payments are requested. State assistance payments to such counties shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the cost of implementing the local plan or portion of the plan for which state assistance has been requested. Such maximum shall be increased by a percentage equal to the percentage of the total eligible costs for such specified projects that are contributed by the owner of the agricultural land for which the project is being funded, provided, however, that in no event shall the total of such state assistance payments exceed eighty-seven and one-half percent of such eligible costs for any specified project.

2.

(a) A county agricultural and farmland protection board, two such boards acting jointly, a municipality or two such municipalities acting jointly shall make application to the commissioner in such manner as the commissioner may prescribe. Application for state assistance payments for planning activities may be made at any time after the county agricultural and farmland protection board has formed and has elected a chairperson. A county agricultural and farmland protection board may make application for state assistance payments for plan implementation at any time after the commissioner has approved a county agricultural and farmland protection plan pursuant to section three hundred twenty-four of this article. Application made jointly by two county agricultural and farmland protection boards may be made after such agricultural and farmland protection plan is approved by each county pursuant to the provisions of section three hundred twenty-four of this article. State assistance payments to such counties shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the cost of implementing the county agricultural and farmland protection plan or portion of the plan for which state assistance has been requested. The commissioner may require such information or additional planning as he or she deems necessary to evaluate such a request for state assistance.

(b)

Within a county, a municipality which has in place a local farmland protection plan may apply and shall be eligible for agricultural protection state assistance payments to implement its plan, or a portion of its plan, provided the proposed project is endorsed for funding by the agricultural and farmland protection board for the county in which the municipality is located and that any plan developed on or after January first, two thousand six complies with section three hundred twenty-four-a of this article. State assistance payments to such municipalities shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the cost of implementing the local plan or portion of the plan for which state assistance has been requested. Such maximum shall be increased by a percentage equal to the percentage of the total eligible costs for such specified projects that are contributed by the owner of the agricultural land for which the project is being funded; provided, however, that in no event shall the total of such state assistance payments exceed eighty-seven and one-half percent of such eligible costs for any specified project. The commissioner may require such information or additional planning as he or she deems necessary to evaluate such a request for state assistance.

(c)

A soil and water conservation district may apply and shall be eligible for agricultural protection state assistance payments to implement a county or municipal agricultural and farmland protection plan approved by the commissioner provided that the proposed project is endorsed for funding by the county agricultural and farmland protection board for the county in which the proposed project is located. A soil and water conservation district, two such soil and water conservation districts acting jointly, a soil and water conservation district and a municipality acting jointly, or a soil and water conservation district and a not-for-profit conservation organization acting jointly shall make application to the commissioner in such manner as the commissioner may prescribe. The proposed project must also be endorsed for funding by the municipality in which the proposed project is located if the soil and water conservation district is seeking agricultural protection state assistance payments to implement an approved municipal agricultural and farmland protection plan. State assistance payments to such soil and water conservation districts shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the cost of implementing the local plan or portion of the plan for which state assistance has been requested. Such maximum shall be increased by a percentage equal to the percentage of the total eligible costs for such specified projects that are contributed by the owner of the agricultural land for which the project is being funded; provided, however, that in no event shall the total of such state assistance payments exceed eighty-seven and one-half percent of such eligible costs for any specified project. The commissioner may require such information or additional planning as he or she deems necessary to evaluate such a request for state assistance.

(d)

A not-for-profit conservation organization may apply and shall be eligible for agricultural protection state assistance payments to implement a county or municipal agricultural and farmland protection plan approved by the commissioner provided that the proposed project is endorsed for funding by the county agricultural and farmland protection board for the county in which the proposed project is located. The proposed project must also be endorsed for funding by the municipality in which the proposed project is located if the not-for-profit conservation organization is seeking agricultural protection state assistance payments to implement an approved municipal agricultural and farmland protection plan. State assistance payments to such not-for-profit organizations shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the cost of implementing the local plan or portion of the plan for which state assistance has been requested. Such maximum shall be increased by a percentage equal to the percentage of the total eligible costs for such specified projects that are contributed by the owner of the agricultural land for which the project is being funded; provided, however, that in no event shall the total of such state assistance payments exceed eighty-seven and one-half percent of such eligible costs for any specified project. The commissioner may require such information or additional planning as he or she deems necessary to evaluate such a request for state assistance.

(e)

In evaluating applications for funding, the commissioner shall give priority to projects intended to preserve viable agricultural land as defined in section three hundred one of this chapter; that are in areas facing significant development pressure; and that serve as a buffer for a significant natural public resource containing important ecosystem or habitat characteristics.

(f)

In evaluating applications for funding, the commissioner shall consider whether future physical climate risk due to sea level rise, and/or storm surges and/or flooding, based on available data predicting the likelihood of future extreme weather events, including hazard risk analysis data if applicable, has been considered.

3.

Upon receipt of a request for state assistance, the commissioner shall review the request, consult with the advisory council on agriculture and, within ninety days from the receipt of a complete application, shall make a determination as to whether or not such projects shall receive state assistance.
Source

Last accessed
Dec. 13, 2016