The future of a portion of Tolland's Campbell Peaceful Valley farm is up in the air as two separate but important agreements concerning the property will be finalized in the near future.
The town of Tolland has owned the property since 2003, according to Town Planner Linda Farmer. While 74 acres are currently maintained as passive open space, approximately 13 acres are categorized as active recreation land.
Back in 2010, the previous town council approved a resolution to pay $3,000 to The Connecticut Farmland Trust to hold an agricultural easement on the 13 acres, which members of the Campbell family have been using for some farming activity such as growing corn, raising sheep and chickens, etc., Farmer said. The easement will maintain the land's agricultural use in perpetuity.
The town recently received a draft of the agreement from the trust, and town staff are in the process of reviewing it, according to Farmer.
Also undecided is the question of approving a "license to farm" agreement between the town and Jeffrey Campbell, who owns the homestead close to the town property and who may continue using the land agriculturally as his parents have done in the past.
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The current "license to farm" agreement is in his mother's name, who passed away recently, Farmer said.
A resolution to put the agreement in Jeffrey Campbell's name was brought before the , but the motion was tabled so that the council could get more information on the issue.
According to the Conserving Tolland website, the property has been used as farmland since the 1700s. Residents also recently fundraised to preserve the property's historic barn and to print the diary of the late Bea Campbell, who was born there, according to the Conserving Tolland site.
Conserving Tolland founder and president Roseann Kellner Gottier said she supports both the agreement with the Connecticut Farmland Trust and the "license to farm" with the town.
"I feel like it's very beneficial to any town to have professional, single-focused land conservation organizations active in the town," she said. "It offers a multitude of experts, resources and objective, non-political opinions."
Farmer said that the town has considered using the land for recreation purposes, such as a baseball field, in the past, but that no concrete plans have been developed beyond its current agricultural use.
The town council is meeting next on August 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fire Training Center.