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Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan

Genesee

Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost of Community Services Study Town of Byron Cost of Community Services Study Genesee County, NY Table of Contents 1.0 Executive Summary................................................................................................ 2 2.0 Introduction............................................................................................................. 3 2.1 Town of Byron Overview ................................................................................... 3 2.2 What is a COCS Study........................................................................................ 3 2.3 Methodology....................................................................................................... 4 3.0 Findings................................................................................................................... 8 4.0 Revenue and Appropriation Spreadsheets .............................................................. 9 5.0 Bibliography of Sources ....................................................................................... 10 Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc. 1 peter j. smith & company, inc.

Genesee County: Town of Byron Cost of Community Services Study 1.0 Executive Summary Genesee County is one of New York State’s most significant agricultural communities. The County’s unique “mucklands” foster vegetable production while dairy farming remains a significant operation. After a slight decline in the early 1990’s, real farm sales in Genesee County increased by $26 million between 1992 and 1997. Over this time period, real crop sales increased $16 million while receipts from livestock related products increased $10 million. The statistics bear that while the value of agricultural goods produced in Genesee County is increasing, the total number of farms and people who farm in the County is decreasing. In other words, farms are becoming larger, more productive, and controlled by fewer people. There is a generation of former farming families who have decided that they will not pursue a future in the agriculture industry. Their land has come under residential and commercial development pressure as urban sprawl increases in neighboring Erie and Monroe Counties. Many landowners have made the decision to subdivide their agricultural land and sell parcels for residential development. Agricultural land is a non-renewable resource; once agricultural land is converted to residential or commercial use, it cannot be returned to agricultural productivity. The purpose of completing a Cost of Community Services Study (COCS) is to try to substantiate an important claim that could help protect agricultural land from future development. The COCS study attempts to prove that preserving agricultural land and open space within a community can have a positive impact on the local tax base. A COCS Study was completed for the Town of Byron, New York as part of a Countywide Farmland Protection Plan prepared for Genesee County. According to the results of the study completed for Byron, the average ratio of dollars generated by residential development to services required was $1.00 to $1.30. In other words, for every dollar raised from residential revenues, the Town spent an extra 30 cents on average in direct services. These services include education, health and human services, fire safety, and public works. The average ratio for agricultural land, forest and other open space was $1.00 to $.49 cents; for every dollar raised in revenue the Town retained $.51 cents. Average Land Use Ratios for the Town of Byron, New York Residential Commercial/Industrial Agricultural/Forest/Open Space $1.00: $1.30 $1:00: $0.77 $1.00: $0.49 Agricultural & Community Development Services, Inc. 2 peter j. smith & company, inc.

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