The "Stop Work" order is still in effect. We have been informed by the Chief of the Charities Bureau (which oversees trusts and wills), at the NY State Attorney General's office that the conditions of Ms. Carll's will are INTACT with the exception of the "heirs reversion" clause. The Bureau Chief states the will intended the farm to become a museum in total, not just the house. Therefore, we believe any ANY removal/structural alterations for any use...modern educational or otherwise...violates the will's intent. We also believe that the BOE offering items ( see BOE May 2019 meeting video to view Superintendent admitting such) to museums and historical societies also violates the will's intent. In November the BOE requested permission to place storage containers on the property, the request was denied by NYSED (NY State Education Dept.) LIU was granted their accreditation for a veterinary school in October 2019. They intend to start classes fall 2020. We hope they will retreat to their Brookville campus for this purpose...as not only will classroom teaching be at that location, there's both sufficient acreage to install modular farm buildings and an equestrian center already exists on the campus.
!!! UPDATES 10/22 !!!
As of July 28th, a STOP WORK order was issued by a division of NY State Education Department for failure to file application and obtain permits for Traffic Impact, Environmental and Archaeological studies among several others.
On July 31st State Assemblyman Steven Englebright and Ms. Clark visited the farm and witnessed work underway in defiance of the above order.
The worked continued for approximately another week until official agents from NYS were dispatched to the property. As of 10/22 there has been no word to NYSED or State Preservation from either the BOE or the architect hired by them for the LIU site work.
As of Oct 15th LIU has yet to receive their accreditation for a veterinary school.
Currently, the farm's largest barn has had a completed roof replacement. A near-completed new roof and siding on the school house currently exists. Fortunately, work ceased before putting modern asphalt shingles on the carriage barn, the milk house, and most importantly, the 1750 sheep barn. All three have roofs that can be patched/sealed until proper replacement with period materials.
On Thursday October 10th and over the Columbus Day weekend, the farm was covered by CBS Ch.2 news- https://bit.ly/2sdzETy
On 10/16, we were asked to submit a business plan and proposal to the NYS Attorney General's office, Charities Bureau, which oversees wills and trusts.
Interested individuals contact us via our FB page https://www.facebook.com/marions.matters or email, email@example.com
The basics of the proposal we submitted on 5/15/2019 are as follows:
We would lease the farm in it's current condition "as is" for a minimum of 10 years with a first option to purchase in the future, subject to the taxpayer's voting for it in a referendum. Upon finalizing the lease...no further costs are incurred by the taxpayers.
We immediately begin to clean up the property, stabilize the house and it's contents, repair the boiler in the schoolhouse to get it ready to serve as a temporary office and restoration studio, test and prioritize repairs for the electrical systems, public water, the existing well (for irrigation of crops)and install a modern security system while prioritizing repairs for buildings in addition to the house.
Working with Suffolk Cooperative Extension to plan out the crop beds, do soil tests to determine what needs to be added before planting. We have a commitment from Harbor Harvest of Norwalk, CT to purchase our produce, aside from the community farm stand. In 2020, Harbor Harvest will begin transporting fresh, organic and natural foods between Norwalk and Huntington Harbor on 65' green-powered vessels! More at www.harborharvest.com. This revenue will be reinvested into operating expenses and restoration(total estimated 3.5M+ plus 1M for the house interior and belongings) in addition to the many rounds of grants we'll be applying for periodically over the 8-10 year plan.
The farm is VERY valuable historically! As such, it qualifies for application to virtually all historic-based granting foundations. Additionally, we...as a non-profit...are qualified to receive agricultural grants! Numerous agricultural organizations including Farm-Aid, NOFA-NY and FarmNet have offered to guide us with this.
4. The community will have access to the farm stand with a sitting area including benches and tables under the trees nearby as of the first growing season. As repairs continue and hazards are removed...further public access will result. The community will be able to view our progress from a safe distance.
5. By year 3 we would install a tent for special events, limited educational programs and weddings to be located at the rear of the property, allowing the community access to the farm stand and other features regardless of an event. The events will generate further significant revenue to be plowed back into staff salaries and restoration. Eventually these sources of revenue will sustain the farm while slowly building an endowment fund to ensure it runs in perpetuity. We will have an Education coordinator that will work directly with teachers to tailor visits to their respective curriculum.
6. After the second floor of the house is fully repaired, we will move the offices there and the schoolhouse will become a Community/classroom house for a variety of uses.
SOME ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Annual Fall Festival in October, 4 weeks with corn maze, pumpkins, food, petting zoo and other attractions that will be expanded from year 1.
Outdoor "Farm-to-Table" weeknight dining series for adults June-September featuring chefs from top L.I and NYC restaurants.
Master gardening programs for children, adults and seniors.
4H programs for kids
Summer outdoor family"Movie Night" picnic style on the lawn.
A "Fix-it/Thrift" shop to eliminate waste of quality furniture, mowers, small appliances, etcetera staffed by senior volunteers. Great prices on used items, fix rather than buy, seniors have a hobby, good items kept out of landfills! Win-Win-Win!
A used book barn "Barns R Noble"......and many more ideas that are tailored to fit the farm, not negatively impact it.
All farm equipment and horse-drawn vehicles to be restored and displayed with accompanying information and vintage photos of the family's use where possible.
The eventual full restoration of the house, open for museum tours certain days/by appointment.
THIS PROJECT IS A HUGE UNDERTAKING! It's our hope the community supports our efforts and volunteers their time in any amount they're able.
YOU HAVE THE CHANCE FOR A ONE-OF-A-KIND PLACE ON L.I OTHERS WOULD ENVY! PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS!