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TOWN BOARD REJECTS BID TO FUND FARM-PROTECTION PLAN

The Eden Town Board has rejected a request by farmers for $2,000 to finance a farm-protection plan.

The plan is required to get some of $20 million available next year for farm and open-space preservation. The measure went down to defeat in a tie vote.

The funds would have gone to farm consultant Darlene Vogel to prepare the plan. Robert Feasley, the dairy farmer who heads Eden's Farm Advisory Committee, supported preparing the plan.

Voting for the appropriation were Councilmen George Zittel and Gerald Neifer. Supervisor John Tsakos and Councilman Peter Ruh opposed the expenditure. Councilman Lynn Penfold abstained.

"Farmers are disappointed," said Walter Henry, retired farmer and Eden Planning Board member.

Henry also called for rescinding Eden's Agricultural Purchase Overlay program because it has not worked.

"Very little has happened in the 20 years since the farm development-rights purchase program was started, but while the law exists, farmers are constrained from getting the full value of their lands if they choose to retire and sell," he said.

The Town Board promised a decision at the Oct. 13 meeting on a proposal for a 48-unit apartment complex at Beverly and Evelyn streets in the hamlet of Eden.

Approval for the complex is being sought by Richard E. Minnekime. Some residents fear the object is too large and would promote crime and adversely affect property values.

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