UPTON FARMLANDS UPDATE
Since the establishment of the Upton Trust Inc. the Board has had several regular meetings as well as several planning meetings. We invite you to visit the web site at www.saveuptonfarm.com or www.uptonfarmlands.com. There you will see the posting of the legal papers regarding this establishment, as well as the conditions, by-laws, the Agreement and the Vision Plan. The Vision Plan has been posted on the website for almost four years and became part of the legal papers.
You will note that the transfer of the land was conditional upon it being brought under the Natural Areas Protection Act. To that end, the Board has been and is working with the Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry to prepare a plan for approval by the Board that decides on inclusion in the Natural Areas Protection Act. Aside from the condition of transfer, it is a necessity from a financial point. Under the Natural Areas Protection Act the property is exempt from provincial property tax, which otherwise would be approximately $ 30,000 annually.
The Board is also working towards accessing provincial programs for planting and improving the land. As well, the Board is in the process of applying to Revenue Canada for non-profit status, a cumbersome but necessary process. At this point the Trust has no funds. The Board has applied for an operating grant from the Provincial Government for the remainder of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. It appears approval is imminent.
As you can see, there are many time-consuming details to see to in setting up this Trust. In closing I would like to say that it is a privilege to serve with and be part of such a dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer group, (notice by-laws: no honorarium) who spares no time or effort in carrying on the business of the Trust and fulfilling the Vision Plan in a speedy and responsible manner. The Board welcomes thoughts and ideas and invites anyone to let them be known to the Board.
Greetings on behalf of the Board and myself,
Kirsten Connor, President, The Upton Trust Inc.