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Farmer Finds There’s Gold In Township Grass

Farmer Ryan Lehman cutting hay in Pleasantview Park during 2015

SANATOGA PA – For a fourth consecutive year, what’s good for local farmer Ryan Lehman will also be good for Lower Pottsgrove.

The township Board of Commissioners on Thursday (April 20, 2017) approved an agreement to have Lehman use his tractor and accompanying hay cutter to mow the roughly 17-acre open space field at the corner of Bliem and North Pleasant View roads. It’s officially known as Pleasantview Park.

The agreement represents a sweet deal, Manager Ed Wagner noted. Lehman gets to keep the hay, which in the past he has sold to mushroom growers in Chester County. The township gets the park mowed twice during the summer, for free. Lower Pottsgrove saves the cost of renting its own tractor for the work, as well as the wages for whoever on the township Highway Department crew sits behind its steering wheel.

Lehman and the board began their working relationship in 2014. Attorney Robert Brant was township solicitor at the time; he drew up an agreement that protects the municipality from liability and covers issues like insurance. The resulting contract has served as a template for subsequent agreements. Commissioners have since given it their unanimous consent every year.

The property was purchased during 2008 from the Pottsgrove School District, which bought it earlier as a potential school location and later deemed it unnecessary. Its acquisition by the township was financed in large part with Montgomery County open space grant money.

Although the land currently is used only as passive recreation space, plans were drawn up during 2011 to create a series of baseball, softball and soccer fields there, with parking and a walking trail. They won’t be built until money for their installation, usually paid by real estate developers, becomes available.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ April 20 meeting):

Photo by The Post Publications

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