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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Freeholders Approve EHT Open Space Purchase

On Tuesday, March 12 the Board of Freeholders approved $2.612 million purchase of a 310-acre undeveloped property in Egg Harbor Township that the county will acquire to help offset development in the township and maintain open space. The Pinelands Commission designated Egg Harbor Township as one of three growth areas in the county.

The property, identified as Block 5101, lots 59 and 60, located on Pine Avenue, will be purchased with a combination of state and local funds: $1,306,000 from the New Jersey Green Acres Program and $1,174,000 from the county's Open Space Trust Fund of which the county will seek a $1 million reimbursement grant through the Federal Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund following settlement. Additionally, the property's current owners will contribute a donation of $132,000 towards the purchase.

In addition to this purchase, County Executive Dennis Levinson noted that the county is pursuing the purchase of three properties that border this 310-acre parcel. "If we are successful in acquiring all four properties, it will guarantee Egg Harbor Township 458 more acres of undeveloped land," he said. "Acquiring land to preserve open space remains a priority of this administration."

The Board of Freeholders also approved $380,000 for municipal acquisitions on Tuesday as part of the third round funding in the county's Open Space Municipal Partnership Program. Nearly $3 million has been dedicated to acquisition and development through the program since its 2001 inception.

For more information, please contact Howard Kyle, Chief of Staff, at (609) 343-2368.

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