Although the project budget is $630,000, we are asking for the Town to support the project in a ballot measure in November for $185,000, bonded over 5 years. The increase in property tax would be about $42 per year for 5 years for a $250,000 property value. (Tax rate = $0.0168/$100 property value). We will also need to raise about $50,000 in private donations. The Westford Historical Society has already pledged $5,000 toward that goal.
An independent, professional appraisal was commissioned to determine the value of the farmland and forestland portions of the property. Purchase prices for both portions of the property were set below these appraised values. The 130-acre forestland portion was appraised at $320,000 and the purchase price is $300,000. The 42-acre farmland portion was appraised at $295,000 and the purchase price is $275,000. The 42-acre farmland portion was also appraised at its conserved “agricultural value” at $65,000. This amount will be the purchase price for the Pouliot family and will contribute to the full $275,000 for the farmland.
|Appraisals (Spring 2016)||Purchase Price|
|Forestland||$ 320,000||$ 300,000|
|Farmland||$ 295,000||$ 275,000|
|Total||$ 615,000||$ 575,000|
The 42-acre farmland portion was also appraised at its conserved “agricultural value” at $65,000. This amount will be the purchase price for the Pouliot family and will contribute to the full $275,000 for the farmland.
The total project budget of $630,000 also includes $55,000 for conservation project costs to help cover Vermont Land Trust costs to conserve the farm and forestland under two permanent conservation easements. Conservation costs include legal costs of drafting conservation easements, title and closing costs, fieldwork for a Baseline Documentation Report to use in future easement monitoring, and an easement stewardship endowment. VLT establishes a small endowment for every conservation easement so the community and funders know that financial resources will always be available to monitor and uphold the easements. The funds are held for VLT by the Vermont Community Foundation, ensuring they are used only for easement stewardship and remain secure from any future VLT creditors.