Council Resolution Affirms Support of PDR Program
For the first time since its inception, there is no funding for the Purchase of Development Rights program in the FY19 Budget adopted unanimously by the Council on June 21, 2018. The rationale is that there is a significant backlog in pending applications and sufficient funds available to process those applications, as well as new applications that are submitted in FY19.
While we understand the rationale, we are very concerned about the continued backlog and potential precedent of not providing funding. The PDR program was created in 1999 as part of a multi-faceted strategy to ensure the continued viability and strength of our unique rural assets. It is the cornerstone of our Rural Land Management Plan and a national model.
On May 10th, Fayette Alliance issued a position letter to the Council expressing our concerns. We urged the Council to publicly affirm the city’s continued commitment to the PDR program and make the following findings on the record:
- The Council remains committed to the goals of the program to preserve 50,000 acres of the best agricultural land for future agricultural use;
- All efforts should be undertaken to clear out the backlog of pending applications and get the program back on track towards meeting its goals; and
- Lack of funding in the FY19 Budget is due to the specific circumstances caused by the backlog and is in no way intended to set a precedent. Funding for future years will be considered as it has always been in the past.
At the June 21st Council meeting, the Council made the findings we requested on the record by unanimously adopting a Resolution in support of the PDR program. We thank the Council for their support and commitment.
Protecting our prime agricultural land and rural assets provides economic stability and security for our entire community. As Kentucky and the nation continue to lose farmland at an alarming rate, recommitment to the goals of the Rural Land Management Plan and PDR program are more important than ever.