Question 1 Will Protect Agriculture and Our Rural Character
The November 2014 election ballot included a state question that provided $3M to protect Rhode Island’s working farms. The question passed by 70% in Charlestown, but without local matching funds, none of this money will be spent in Charlestown.
The Rhode Island Farmland Preservation Program works to ensure that farming remains viable. It does this by purchasing development rights from farmers. This enables them to retain ownership of their property while protecting the land for forestry or agricultural use, and provides farmers with a financial alternative to development.
The development rights are purchased and extinguished, the farmers go on farming, and the rest of us enjoy local food, scenic views, flood protection, and a stabilized tax rate as these lands are never converted to residential subdivisions.
With the passage of Question 1 on the June 1st ballot, we could have available funds in the coming years to match state bond money and preserve some of Charlestown’s remaining farms should that opportunity arise.