September 12, 2007
Sussex County Farmland Preservation Program
The Sussex County Agriculture Development Board, with the support of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, is pursuing agricultural easements on 29 local farms. This includes approximately 1,366 acres in 9 different towns. The towns encompass Frankford (3 farms, 106 acres), Fredon (3 farms, 96 acres), Green (2 farms, 47 acres), Hampton (1 farm, 25 acres), Lafayette (1 farm, 35 acres), Sandyston (2 farms, 229 acres), Sparta (1 farm, 20 acres), Vernon (1 farm, 23 acres), and Wantage (15 farms, 785 acres).
What is unique about this funding cycle is that it is being undertaken solely utilizing County funds accrued through the dedicated Farmland Preservation and Open Space levies. There are two County dedicated taxes. The first one raises 2 cents per $100 of assessed property value and dedicates 90% of this funding solely to farmland preservation; the second raises 1.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value and is used for both farmland and open space preservation projects.
Currently the County of Sussex has preserved 82 farms totaling 9,729 acres. This year, to date, 9 farms totaling 420 acres, have closed. The direct easement purchase program has preserved an additional farm (166 acres) and the State program for non-profits has preserved two farms totaling 330 acres. Also, Lusscroft Farm in Wantage Township is considered a preserved farm (577 acres). Therefore, a total of 86 farms are preserved in 10,802 acres in Sussex County. Final approvals are in place for 32 more farms through a variety of farmland preservation programs. This will add an additional 2,462 acres to the aforementioned total.
Contact: Donna M. Traylor
Sussex County Office of Farmland Preservation and Conservation
973-579-0500, option 1