31-acre purchase approved

Bordentown Township purchases former Luyber property, on Bordentown-Chesterfield Road intended to be preserved as open space.

By: Eve Collins
   BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP — Township officials announced Monday the purchase of a 31-acre tract of land that they intend to preserve as open space.
   The former Luyber property, on Bordentown-Chesterfield Road was purchased for $1.6 million last week, officials said.
   Half of the cost will be covered by the state Green Acres fund and 25 percent will be paid with county open space funds. The township will pay the remainder of the cost, approximately $400,000, officials said.
   "The most important impact to residents will be preserving this land from development," said Mayor Jerry Boyer on Monday. The land will probably be used for passive or active recreation, he said.
   "This is a good location to start connecting neighborhoods with bike and walking paths," the mayor said.
   Township officials have planned to create a ring of contiguous parcels of open space throughout the township to link residents to neighborhoods, commercial areas, recreation facilities and schools throughout the municipality.
   In a related matter, the governing body approved $700,000 to be added to funds used for open space preservation in the township.
   "We needed to take action tonight to do the purchase until we get the money from Green Acres," Mayor Boyer said after the meeting. Municipalities are reimbursed by the state fund after lands are preserved, officials have said.
   Voters approved a 3-cent tax for the township’s Open Space Preservation Program in 1999.
   In 2001, the governing body authorized $10 million for land acquisition, according to Chief Financial Officer Victor Cantillo. Township officials have spent approximately $9 million of that over the years for the purchase of properties throughout the township.
   Also in 2001, officials created the Open Space Advisory Committee, which has been investigating parcels throughout the township ever since and has surveyed residents and held an informational seminar for residents about open space.
   The approval of the $700,000 in additional funds was needed for this latest purchase, which was part of a list made in 2001 of parcels to be preserved in the township, he said.
   "The costs for the purchases have increased over time from the original estimates" of the land, Mr. Cantillo told the Township Committee.