Agriculture & Markets - Agricultural and Farmland Protection Programs - State assistance payments to not-for-profit conservation organizations

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§ 325-a. State assistance payments to not-for-profit conservation
organizations. 1. Subject to the availability of funds, a program is
hereby established for the purpose of awarding state assistance to
not-for-profit conservation organizations for activities that will
assist counties and municipalities with their agricultural and farmland
protection efforts. To be eligible, an organization shall have at least
one active farmer on their board of directors at the time of application
or shall provide for the appointment of a farmer to such board of
directors in a manner approved by the commissioner.

2. Awards of state assistance payments shall be made on a competitive
basis through a request for proposal process which shall set forth the
standards for the selection process, the required proposal format, the
costs which are eligible for funding, reporting requirements, and such
other provisions as the commissioner may deem necessary, proper or
desirable to achieve the purposes of this section. Applications for
state assistance payments must be endorsed by the agricultural and
farmland protection board for the county or counties in which the funded
activities would be implemented.

3. In evaluating applications, the commissioner shall give priority to
activities that will assist counties and municipalities with their
agricultural and farmland protection efforts by disseminating
information and providing technical assistance to county and municipal
governments, owners of agricultural lands and other agricultural
interests.

4. Upon receipt of an application for state assistance, the
commissioner shall review the request, consult with the advisory council
on agriculture and, within ninety days from the receipt of a complete
application, make a determination as to whether or not the application
will be funded.

5. State assistance payments awarded to an applicant shall be used in
a manner which does not in any way unreasonably restrict or regulate
farm operations in contravention of the purposes of article
twenty-five-AA of this chapter.

6. State assistance payments awarded pursuant to this section shall
not exceed fifty thousand dollars to any applicant in any fiscal year,
and shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars to all applicants in
any fiscal year.