Letter: Farms come first in Ballston

Editor, The Spotlight:

The Town of Ballston is well known as a Farms First community. Recently, Buckley farms purchased the Cappiello land, and I could not be any prouder.

This is a win-win for our community as well as the Cappiello family. As reported, the Cappiello family received $1.05 million for the sale of the property. Prior to the sale, the family, working closely with the Farmland Protection Committee, offered the land to the Town of Ballston for $600,000, which we all knew was an amazing opportunity for our town. Unfortunately, they wanted an answer with regard to the purchase within one day of said offer. Please be advised that the individuals involved, including the town supervisor, knew that this offer was impossible to complete.

The proposed referendum was also illegal due to an insufficient amount of time to get that referendum on to the upcoming ballot. The Town Board agreed to meet the very next day after the offer was presented. The deal, however, was abruptly taken off the table, and the family was offended that the town did not act quick enough to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Please be advised that we, as elected officials, must perform due diligence when an offer of this magnitude is presented. It was also very possible that this purchase would have generated a new tax for the residents of this community.

All is not lost, however, as there was a purchaser that will benefit this community tremendously. Please know that this Town Board will always have our community interests in mind when anything of this nature is presented.

I wish to welcome Buckley Farms to the Town of Ballston. I will most certainly be placing an order for quality products from our newest farm…congratulations!

Tim Szczepaniak

Ballston Town Councilman

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