May 10, 2006
In Riverhead: Farmland Preserved For Posterity
Riverhead Town Supervisor Phil Cardinale announced a victory last week in an ongoing effort to protect and preserve farmland and open space.
Cardinale said that the development rights for 27.5 acres were purchased by the Town of Riverhead on April 27 for over $2 million. The preserved parcel is well-known to many who travel to the North Fork during the harvest season for fall festivities, including corn mazes and pumpkin picking. The property, currently in production of pumpkins and corn, is owned by Edward Harbes, III, and is located on the northerly side of Sound Avenue in Jamesport, adjacent to Maidstone Landing.
"The town is proud to once again protect a crucial piece of farmland from development," said Cardinale. "The Harbes piece provides a beautiful vista off of Sound Avenue and maintains the rural nature of the area."
The property was identified by the Riverhead farmland select committee and the purchase was approved by the town board on February 22.
Cardinale said that at $75,000 per acre, the price for the purchase was $2,062,500.
Since the supervisor took office in 2004, the town board has preserved a total of 277.688 acres.
"My immediate goal for the town is to utilize the bond funding we had committed in the beginning of my administration," said Cardinale.
At the time of his election, the supervisor said that a total of $25 million was supported by monies provided by bonds, which would be repaid by revenue generated by the 2% Peconic real estate transfer tax as it came in between the present and 2018.
So far, the town has expended $18 million; there is $7 million left. "Our goal is to purchase at 2006 prices rather than wait for 2018," said Cardinale.