Township officials add to open space acquisitions

By melissa kress

Township officials add to
open space acquisitions

EAST BRUNSWICK — It looks like one more local farm will be spared from further development.

On June 27, township officials held a press conference to announce their plan to purchase 39 acres of farmland from Bruno and Clara Lapinski and their daughter Barbara Tangle. The land is adjacent to land the township bought from local farmer Kelemen Kelemen last year and will also remain open space.

The land surrounds the municipal complex on Ryders Lane.

According to a statement from Mayor Bill Neary, the township has already signed a letter of intent to purchase the property.

"This farm was one of the highest ranking properties along with the Kelemen Farm, to preserve from development as determined by our Open Space Committee," Neary said. "When the committee evaluated property based on location, history and the threat of development, this property rose to the top for immediate acquisition."

"The farmland that surrounds this municipal complex is geographically and emotionally the heart of our community," Neary explained. "The Kelemen/Lapinski farms have been kept open for generations by active farmers and now, in the year 2000, find themselves as the centrally located area of open space in our town."

Neary added that, because of its location, several developers have expressed interest in the Lapinski Farm. The land has been appraised at $200,000 per acre, he explained.

However, the township will receive help from both the state and county to purchase the 39 acres. The township has applied to the state Green Acres program and the Middlesex County Open Space Fund and has received favorable responses from both, the mayor stated.

The remainder of the price will come from the township’s Open Space Fund.

"Because of its price, it would have been difficult for East Brunswick taxpayers to totally fund the purchase of the property," Neary said. "Although I believe the long-term benefit in costs and quality of life alone would still make it a good investment."

In addition to the Kelemen and Lapinski farms, the township has also purchased the Giamarese Farm.

"When I became mayor in 1997, we had six active farms working in East Brunswick, and now, just a few short years later, we have preserved three of these from development," Neary explained.

"This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of my colleagues on the [Township Council] and the men and women who served so devotedly on the East Brunswick Open Space Committee," he added.