Fiscal Year 2010 Purchase of Development Rights Program Budget Request
Recently, the LFUCG PDR program became eligible to receive a $3 million federal allocation from the Federal Ranchlands and Protection Program. To receive this grant, PDR must receive $3 million in local “matching” funds. If accomplished, PDR would have a total of $6 million in its coffers to purchase conservation easements on Fayette County farms.
The Council has the ultimate “power of the purse” and can adopt the $3 million allocation in its FY 2010 budget. This vote will likely occur in late June 2009.
It is important to note that local PDR funding does not come out of LFUCG’s general fund—but rather is accrued by selling bonds on the market. By allocating $3 million to the PDR program, LFUCG will not have to “find the money” in our strapped general fund. Further, it will not increase LFUCG’s current bond service obligations.
In today’s lean budgetary climate, this scenario ($3 million from the Feds & $3 million from LFUCG) affords our community an important opportunity to invest twice the money for half the price in farmland conservation- a win-win for Fayette County considering there are currently 52 farms in the PDR pipeline waiting to sell easements on 4,800 acres. This is a crucial prospect–as these farms are the factory floor of Fayette County’s $3 billion agricultural industry and international Bluegrass brand.
On June 25th the Council unanimously adopted the FY 2010 budget which included the $3 million dollar allocation to the PDR Program.