The Town of Southampton was awarded $702,000 on Tuesday in farmland preservation funds from New York State's Clean Water-Clean Air Bond Act and the Environmental Protection Fund.
The money will be used to purchase development rights on farmland, allowing farmers to retain ownership of their land while limiting its use to agricultural endeavors.
The town applied for funding to purchase rights on parcels of land in Water Mill and Sagaponack, according to Linda Kabot, Southampton Town Supervisor Vincent Cannuscio's assistant.
The money will probably be used to purchase development rights to a 50-acre parcel owned by the Zaluski family on Deerfield Road in Water Mill, although the town has not received the final conditions of the state's grant, she said.
Southampton has received grants of over $1 million from state and Federal sources for farmland preservation over the past year, Ms. Kabot said.
The grants have allowed the town to leverage the $2 million for farmland preservation voters approved as part of a $5 million open-space bond act in 1996, she said.
A total of more than $2 million was awarded for Long Island projects, including a grant of $759,460 for Suffolk County, $435,800 for the Town of Riverhead, and $337,500 for the Town of Southold.
The development pressure on the land, its economic value, and adjacent natural resources were considerations for the awards. The Governor's farmland preservation program, now entering its third year, has provided $10 million for such farmland purchases so far.