Radnor commissioners voted 4-2 not to cancel a lease that allows the Fern Valley Farm to raise cattle on 71 acres of township land that was once part of the Ardrossan Estate, writes Jacob Adelman for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Commissioner Richard Booker made a motion to terminate Fern Valley Farm’s $1-a-year lease, arguing the farm’s operations let residents at the former estate to unfairly save hundreds of thousands of dollars on their property taxes.
The properties are assessed at a lower value as farm land under a state agricultural conservation program.
Fern Valley relies on feed crops grown on these other properties.
The farm owners said they need the lease to preserve the farm.
“I don’t want anyone to lose their job or for the farm to go away,” said Booker “What I do want is to get the township out of … the business of farmland-assessment reductions it has been in for the last seven years.”
Commissioner Lisa Borowski said all residents do benefit from the farm deal.
“This is the last working farm in Delaware County,” she said. “We at Radnor have that. That is special.”