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Rural Preservation Program

Over the last 20 years Town Residents have affirmed many times that preserving the rural character of Dunkirk is of high importance.  In response to the citizen interest in 2016 a volunteer committee was formed to evaluate possibilities as well as inform and educate residents.  On April 2, 2019, Town residents were given the opportunity to vote on whether they would support a plan to fund a program.  Residents were specifically asked if they would support an assessment that would be used to build a program that would purchase development rights of land from landowners, preserving the land for agriculture and natural areas.  

Town residents approved the program by a significant margin - nearly 62% of Town residents voted in favor and 38% opposed.

What this means and next steps:

  • Town residents will see a 50 cent per $1,000 value assessment on their end of the year tax bill.
  • Several residents have applied for appointment to the Rural Preservation Commission.  The Town Board is currently reviewing applications and hopes to appoint Commissioners in February or March 2020.
  • Over time (as the assessment is relatively small) farmland and open space land that participates in the program will be permanently excluded from development - it will always be farmland or open space.

Draft Rural Preservation Program Documents for Review

List Informational Meetings held:

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019:  Advisory Referendum.  Proposal:  Shall the town of Dunkirk initiate a program of rural preservation through the purchase of development rights in farmland and natural areas that are voluntarily offered for sale by property owners in the Town, with the program funded by a mill rate increase on all taxable property in the Town of $.50 per $1,000 of equalized valuation?
  • Sunday, March 31, 2019:  Educational Forum on Rural Preservation and proposed Referendum, 2:30-4:30 pm at the Dunkirk Town Hall.
  • Monday, March 11, 2019:  Rural Preservation Monthly Committee meeting 6:30 PM, Dunkirk Town Hall Committee Information.
  • April 15, 2018 Educational Forum Presentation
  • January 28, 2018 Educational Forum Presentation
  • March 19, 2017 Educational Forum Presentation


Dunkirk July 2018 Survey Information

In an attempt to gauge citizen interest in funding a rural preservation program, the town of Dunkirk mailed a survey to all town residents in July 2018.  The survey had a 26.5% response rate. Of that, 70% indicated that they were in favor of a referendum and raising taxes for the program.

General Information

Cost of Community Services Studies
Many studies show that agricultural and open space uses greatly reduce the tax burden on residents as compared to residential and commercial uses.   Cost of Community Services studies are a case study approach used to determine the fiscal contribution of existing local land uses.  The following links are to local studies and studies done in communities across the United States that look at the relationship between revenues generated by various land uses and the tax burden that servicing each use places on the tax payers of a community.


Letters of Support

Stoughton Land Use Maps



Annexations - 2000 - 2016 Comprehensive Plan Stoughton ETJ 2016
Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge



Over the last 20 years Town Residents have affirmed many times that preserving the rural character of Dunkirk is of high importance.  In response to the citizen interest in 2016 a volunteer committee was formed to evaluate possibilities as well as inform and educate residents.  On April 2, 2019, Town residents were given the opportunity to vote on whether they would support a plan to fund a program.  Residents were specifically asked if they would support an assessment that would be used to build a program that would purchase development rights of land from landowners, preserving the land for agriculture and natural areas. 

Town residents approved the program by a significant margin - nearly 62% of Town residents voted in favor and 38% opposed.

What this means and next steps:

  • Town residents will see a 50 cent per $1,000 value assessment on their end of the year tax bill.
  • Several residents have applied for appointment to the Rural Preservation Commission.  The Town Board is currently reviewing applications and hopes to appoint Commissioners in February or March 2020.
  • Over time (as the assessment is relatively small) farmland and open space land that participates in the program will be permanently excluded from development - it will always be farmland or open space.

Draft Rural Preservation Program Documents for Review

List of Informational Meetings held:

Dunkirk July 2018 Survey Information
In an attempt to gauge citizen interest in funding a rural preservation program, the town of Dunkirk mailed a survey to all town residents in July 2018.  The survey had a 26.5% response rate. Of that, 70% indicated that they were in favor of a referendum and raising taxes for the program.

 

General Information

Cost of Community Services Studies
Many studies show that agricultural and open space uses greatly reduce the tax burden on residents as compared to residential and commercial uses.   Cost of Community Services studies are a case study approach used to determine the fiscal contribution of existing local land uses.  The following links are to local studies and studies done in communities across the United States that look at the relationship between revenues generated by various land uses and the tax burden that servicing each use places on the tax payers of a community.


Letters of Support


Stoughton Land Use Maps 

Annexations - 2000 - 2016 Comprehensive Plan Stoughton ETJ 2016
Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge Click here to enlarge