COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

ACE; Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services grant for easement acquisition

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Authorize the County Executive to execute Inter-governmental Agreement with Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services establishing the responsibilities of the parties under the grant

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Cilimberg, and Goodall

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

April 2, 2008

 

ACTION:                   INFORMATION: 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

 

  ACTION:  X              INFORMATION:

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

Clayton Farm, a 228.50 acre property adjoining both Route 240 and the Beaver Creek Reservoir near Crozet, is a working farm for which the Board accepted the owner’s offer to sell an easement under the County’s ACE Program for $1,315,000.00 at its March 5, 2008 meeting.  The County has been awarded a grant of $403,219.75 in state matching funds from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (“VDACS”) Office of Farmland Preservation under a program established by the General Assembly in 2007 to provide funds for the preservation of working farms and forest lands.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 4: Effectively Manage the County’s Growth and Development

 

DISCUSSION:

VDACS has requested that the County enter into the Intergovernmental Agreement (the “Agreement”) as a condition of receiving the grant funding.  The key provisions of the Agreement are summarized below. 

 

The Agreement would obligate VDACS to set aside the grant amount in an account, and reimburse the County for its reimbursable costs in the purchase of the Clayton Farm easement.  For Clayton Farm, the purchase price will consume all of the reimbursable costs.  The Agreement also would require VDACS concurrence if Clayton Farm was ever converted or diverted from open-space use and entitle VDACS to reimbursement of its pro rata share of the purchase price if conversion or diversion ever occurred.  Conversion or diversion of land is permitted under the Open-Space Land Act in limited circumstances and would also require the concurrence of the County and the Public Recreational Facilities Authority, and require that substitute land of equal or greater value and quality be placed under an open-space easement.  

The Agreement would obligate the County to appropriate funds equal to the grant amount for the purchase of the Clayton Farm easement, apply the grant funds to the purchase of the easement, provide VDACS with annual progress reports describing the County’s efforts to obtain easements on other working farms, and its programs for public outreach, stewardship and monitoring, and measuring the effectiveness of the County’s efforts to bring working farms under easement.  The Agreement also requires the County to maintain sufficient title insurance for the Clayton Farm easement, a standard County practice, to allow VDACS the opportunity to review easement instruments and the title insurance policy, to receive copies of the recorded easement instrument, to provide notice to VDACS if the County receives an application to convert or divert Clayton Farm from its permitted easement uses, and to enforce the terms and conditions of the deed of easement.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

The County’s execution of the Intergovernmental Agreement will allow the County to receiving $403,219.75 in state funding to apply to the ACE program.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board authorize the County Executive to execute the Agreement on behalf of the County, provided that it is first approved as to form and content by the County Attorney. 

 

ATTACHMENTS

A- Intergovernmental Agreement

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