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Grants to Hudson Valley, New York Counties, Districts, Municipalities, Nonprofits for Conservation Easements

ELIGIBILITY:

Geographic Focus

USA: New York

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Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets


Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #165037

Grant Description

Grants for conservation easements to New York Counties and municipalities with a farmland protection plan, conservation districts, and nonprofits in Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Sullivan, Ulster, Washington, and Westchester Counties.

This grant opportunity is being offered to enable eligible applicants to specifically implement Conservation Easement Projects with owners of viable agricultural lands that are at risk of conversion to non-farm uses.

Therefore, the following activities would be possible under the RFP subject to the stipulations described elsewhere in the RFP (and summarized in “Match Contribution Requirements and Associated Stipulations” table in Section V D.):

- Perpetual conservation easement resulting from the sale of development rights associated with a Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) transaction or a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) transaction; AND

- Perpetual conservation easement resulting from the donation of the full value of development rights.

Projects eligible for an award are limited only to those associated with viable agricultural land located within the Hudson Valley region that will result in a perpetual conservation easement.

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Eligibility:

  • County governments
  • Local Governments
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Special district governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Proposals for funding will only be accepted from:

(1) Any county agricultural and farmland protection board in a county with an approved county plan developed pursuant to Section 324 of Article 25-AAA of the Agriculture and Markets Law; OR

(2) Any municipality which has in place a local farmland protection plan, provided the proposed project is endorsed for funding in a letter provided by the agricultural and farmland protection board for the county in which the municipality is located; OR

(3) Any nonprofit conservation organization that will assist a county or municipality to implement a county or municipal agricultural and farmland protection plan approved by the commissioner, provided the proposed project is endorsed for funding in a letter provided by the county agricultural and farmland protection board for the county in which the proposed project is located and the proposed project must also be endorsed for funding in a letter provided by the municipality in which the proposed project is located; OR

(4) Any soil and water conservation district that will assist a county or municipality to implement a county or municipal agricultural and farmland protection plan approved by the commissioner, provided the proposed project is endorsed for funding in a letter provided by the county agricultural and farmland protection board for the county in which the proposed project is located and the proposed project must also be endorsed for funding in a letter provided by the municipality in which the proposed project is located.

For purposes of this section, a “local farmland protection plan” may include a town, village or city comprehensive plan as defined in the Town Law, the Village Law, or General City Law, if such plan includes an element which considers agricultural uses and needs; an open space plan adopted by the municipality which presents strategies for the preservation of viable agricultural land; or any other formal agricultural and farmland protection planning document provided that if the plan was developed on or after January 1, 2006, it must comply with section 324-a of Article 25-AAA of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

Any applicant intending to submit a proposal for the first time for a proposed farmland protection implementation project is urged to contact the Department regarding the applicant’s eligibility prior to submitting its proposal. Any proposal submitted by an ineligible applicant shall not be considered for funding under the RFP.

The applicant shall be the entity that is proposing the project. In other words, the Grantee (or “holder”) of the conservation easement must be the applicant of the proposal for that Conservation Easement Project. Furthermore, each such entity shall be the Lead Applicant for any joint proposal that is submitted for funding consideration under the RFP.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Webinar for Potential Applicants - Request For Proposals attached below.

Pre-Application Information:

See - Request for Proposals - Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/rfps/hvaep/hvaep_rfp.pdf.

The following general match requirements apply to all proposals:

- Any governmental entity providing a cash contribution must provide a letter from an authorized representative formally acknowledging its proposed contribution.

- As applicable, any other entity (including participating landowners) providing a local cash match must provide a letter from an authorized representative formally acknowledging the amount of its contribution.

- None of the local cash contribution(s) shall be from a State source of financial assistance.

- Cash and in-kind match must be for items that are eligible costs and may be provided by the applicant or other supporters of the project.

- Furthermore, there are particular match stipulations for each of the differing levels of State contribution awarded as noted in the RFP.

New York State vendors must register in the Grants Gateway to become established users in the system. Therefore, each entity that intends to submit a proposal in response to the RFP must be registered. If your entity has not registered prior to the submission of your proposal(s), each proposal you submit will be rejected and not considered for funding. Furthermore, all nonprofit conservation organizations that intend to submit a proposal must also be pre-qualified prior to the submission of your proposal(s).

Grants Gateway will create a single PDF of your submitted proposal that you may download for your records. However, this sample proposal is provided as follows: Excerpt 1: http://on.ny.gov/1MBw69H, Excerpt 2: http://on.ny.gov/1QPbQJW, Excerpt 3: http://on.ny.gov/1MBwaGE.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

- No award shall exceed $2.0 million.
- State contribution toward purchase price of the development rights shall not exceed $29,000/acre.
- State contribution toward easement stewardship shall be $10,000 per easement.

Term of Contract:

The start date for funding agreements is anticipated to be on or before April 1.

Proposed Conservation Easement Projects should be completed within four (4) years from the start date of the funding agreement.

Contact Information:

David Behm
NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets
10B Airline Drive
Albany, New York 12235

Fax: (518) 457-3412
E-mail: david.behm@agriculture.ny.gov

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