County Seeks Public-Private Partnership for Hill Agor Farm

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In an effort to better utilize the properties it owns, Putnam County is seeking a public-private partnership for the historic Hill Agor Farm in Mahopac.

Officials are sending out a request for proposal [RFP] to solicit plans from parties interested in restoring and renovating the 23-acre parcel located off of Hill Street and an adjacent to 60 acres that extends north-west toward Austin Road Elementary School.

The Hill-Agor farm was originally 245 acres and was the first farm in Putnam County to be purchased from Wappinger Indians prior to 1741. Portions of the farm have been sold off through the years for other purposes, including a golf course and an airstrip. The county purchased the farm as part of 375-acre deal in 2003.

The county is not looking to sell the property; it is looking to lease it out in a manner similar to Tilly Foster Farm.

“We want to get that farmhouse up and running,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “The perfect thing would be for someone to come in and farm it – as vineyards or a farm-to-table type restaurant.”

The New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation [OPRHP] has determined that the Hill-Agor farm house and property are a significant historic resource and are eligible for listing on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. An application to have Hill-Agor Farm listed on the National Register of Historic Places is currently pending at OPRHP.

In December, the county legislature unanimously voted to designate the Hill-Agor an historic site with a Preserve America designation. The Preserve America recognition provides opportunities for grant money to be available for possible renovations.

Former county historian Allan Warnecke has been pushing for the farmhouse and other outbuildings to be restored for the past eight years. In recent years, he has been part of the Red Mills Historic District Committee, which according to Warnecke is “interested in restoring, preserving and using the historic sites in the Red Mills area.”

“We are definitely interested that the farm be restored,” said Warnecke. We would like it  preserved as a historic site and we would like to see it work in conjunction with the country club next store. We think there are various ways that they could work together that could be mutually beneficial.”

The current Hill-Agor parcel abuts the Putnam National Golf Course, which has a catering facility.

“We have some people out there who have expressed interest in it,” said Odell.

 

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