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LETTER TO RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OF CATO FROM AGRICULTURAL PLANNING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN LOU HOUSE AND TOWN SUPERVISOR CHARLES RAY
The Town of Cato presently enjoys an economy pretty much based on the agricultural endeavors of its citizens. For the past year a small group of us have been looking at what agriculture means to this area and what can be done to protect the pristine landscape that the majority of people would like to see maintained.
With the help of Geoff Milz from the Cayuga County Planning Board we have assembled a comprehensive study of agricultural resources as they now exist. This includes maps of soils, aquifers, population density, woodlands, wetlands, and of other data. Also, the Committee has interviewed many members of the community in an effort to glean ideas and comments on how to protect our rural landscape. The results of these efforts seem to be a consensus: that the protection of the present cropland and the channeling of growth in the community, to less viable agricultural areas, should be encouraged.
To accomplish these goals, the Town can work more closely with New York State and the Farmland Protection Program, can pass a 'right-to-farm' law at the local level, can review and strengthen local zoning regulations, and can encourage agricultural entrepreneurs and any new enterprises.
Nothings happens overnight and this look at agriculture in the Town will hopefully raise the awareness of residents in the area that we have a great place to live but have to plan the future to keep it this way. We hope this report will spark interest, involve more people, and give some guidance to the Town Board and community to protect what we have.
- Lou House & Charlie Ray