MaryEllen Odell Announces Tilly Foster Task Force Core Team

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

March 7, 2014

Odell Announces Tilly Foster Task Force Core Team

As promised at the February 26 public meeting on the future of Tilly Foster Farm, County Executive MaryEllen Odell has announced the formation of the Tilly Foster Task Force Core Team (TFCT). The Task Force will establish and work with sub-committees to determine the future of the 199-acre farm site located on Route 312 in the Town of Southeast.

“As we said we would do last week, today we are announcing the names of those people who will play a vital role in establishing what the future will be for our lovely Tilly Foster Farm,” said Odell.

Chairing the TFCT will be Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker. Other members are Legislator Carl Albano, chairman of the Putnam County Legislature, Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, chairwoman of the County’s Economic Development and Energy Committee, Commissioner of Highways and Facilities Fred Pena, Jennifer Maher, chairwoman of the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and Bill Nulk, its president, Mike McCall, general manager of the Putnam County Golf Course, Edward Cooke, council representative of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, former Tilly Foster Farm Manager Meredith Whipple and Southeast resident Ann Fanizzi.

In announcing his preliminary schedule for meetings, Walker said he would be presenting final recommendations to the Legislature in May at the Physical Services Committee meeting.

“We are moving forward aggressively with this for a reason,” said Walker. “We don’t want to see the farm stagnate over the coming year. Those who wish to volunteer – and we hope there are many – will have to be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time in the coming weeks hashing out ideas and plans,” he said.

During the February 26 public meeting held at the Spain Cornerstone Park, Putnam officials presented an overview of the history of the farm and noted the restrictions under which any future plans for the property would have to comply. A list of sub-committees was presented by Walker to which members of the public made several recommendations. To date, the sub-committees agreed upon by consensus include Agricultural, Equestrian, Health, Education, Historical, Grant Opportunities, Parks and Recreation, Business/Economic Development, Soil and Water, Infrastructure and Tourism.

People interested in learning more about the farm should visit the County website at: www.putnamcountyny.gov/TillyFoster. Emails from those wishing to volunteer on one or more of the subcommittees should be sent to: TillyFoster@PutnamCountyNY.gov.  The establishment of sub-committee chairpersons will be announced on March 14.

Tilly Foster Farm was purchased by Putnam County using money from the East of Hudson (EOH) Water Quality Funds in 2002. In buying the farm, Putnam was required to establish a conservation easement with the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC). The conservation easement is a legally binding agreement which places permanent restrictions in order to protect certain natural resources on the property.