The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

July 26, 2013

Orleans Co. looking to add 29 to ag district

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION - No objections were heard during a public hearing held Wednesday prior to the Orleans County Legislature meeting.

The hearing, meant to discuss proposed additions to the certified county agricultural districts, included information about the new additions, though.

There are 29 parcels looking to enroll in the district, making up a total of 1,452 acres. In order to be a member in good standing in the certified district, a person working the land should be using “established farm practices” according to those who spoke at the hearing.

Once an owner is in the district, that owner is in for the duration of that district’s existence. In New York, every county makes its own agricultural district rules. In Orleans County, people in an agricultural district remain in it for eight years before deciding whether to re-up and stay, or leave. In some counties, renewal is automatic.

In other legislative news, a resolution to spend grant funds in emergency management was questioned by one member of the public, who wanted to know why the grant came from Homeland Security.

It was explained that the items purchased with the money from the grant — a text program for first responders, cameras, and a recorder - are all used for emergency management and security purchases. Their addition to the county’s emergency management department help with training and help to keep the department’s technology up to date.

During the open discussion portion of the meeting, Legislator George Bower spoke briefly about the county’s education expenses. He said it has come to his attention that there are students whose higher education the county is paying for, but some of those students are failing a course or more and the county is still paying.

“I want to know how may people are dropping out that we’re paying for,” Bower stated. “I don’t think our hardworking taxpayers should be paying student tuition for students that fail.”

Bower acknowledged that not every student is college material, and that some students are more suited for training in a trade.

The point, he said, is that the amount of money spent on education has escalated over the past several years, and if even 10 percent of that cost can be recouped, it would make up a sizable amount of money.

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