At Wednesday night’s Town Board meeting I will be introducing a resolution urging the New York State Legislature to adopt, and Governor Spitzer to approve, legislation which would grant the Town of Greenburghthe option of establishing a Community Preservation Fund.
A Community Preservation Fund (CPF) is a dedicated environmental fund that can be used to preserve open space, protect drinking water and surface water quality, and create community parks.
Currently New York State does not allow all towns to develop CPF’s. In fact, only allowed eight towns in the entire state have been granted permission to create this type of fund.
Establishing a CPF would allow Greenburgh to apply for state, county and federal matching funds to purchase areas of significant value to the town. With this fund, the Town can safeguard undeveloped parcels of land, including areas that have an exceptional scenic value, forested areas and other areas the Town wants to protect. A CPF can also be used to protect wetlands, which are crucial for floodwater protection. Every year, taxpayer money is saved due to wetlands buffering storm water and absorbing floodwaters.
The Town of Southampton created a CPF in April of 1999 and since its inception it has generated over $78 million and protected 1,500 acres of land. The original program was scheduled to conclude in December 2010, but residents overwhelmingly approved a 10-year extension.
I believe a CPF can achieve the same success in Greenburgh that it has in other towns. With the option to create a CPF at our disposal, we would be able to protect open and green space, and to do that, we must urge the State to adopt this legislation.