By Mark Rosman
UPPER FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders has awarded a contract for the reconstruction of a bridge in Upper Freehold Township.
At their meeting on Jan. 19, the freeholders passed a resolution authorizing the awarding of a contract to Lucas Brothers Inc., Morganville, for the reconstruction of bridge U-45 on Arneytown-Hornerstown Road (county Route 27) over Crosswicks Creek.
According to the resolution, the Division of Engineering received 11 bids for the project. Lucas Brothers was the lowest responsible and responsive bidder with a total estimate of $2.12 million. The contract award is in that amount. The majority of the contract will be paid with funds the county received from the state Department of Transportation in 2014 and 2015.
In other county business regarding Upper Freehold Township, the freeholders passed three resolutions authorizing the acquisition of property in the municipality to be added to Crosswicks Creek Park. The park lies between Arneytown-Hornerstown and Holmes Mill road.
The county will purchase a 3-acre tract known as the Estate of Storoni property for $275,000 and a 5.45-acre tract from Sergey and Rosa Petrenko for $450,000 for additions to Crosswicks Creek Park.
The funds to purchase the Storoni and Petrenko parcels will come from the Monmouth County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund account, according to the resolution.
The county will also purchase a 15.1-acre tract known as the Sager property for $380,000 for additions to Crosswicks Creek Park.
The Sager property will replace land that may be lost due to the proposed replacement and improvement of two county bridges, and/or to the state Green Acres program, according to the resolution.
The funds to purchase the Sager property will come from the Division of Engineering capital account.
Finally, the freeholders passed a resolution authorizing the release of funds for a farmland preservation easement on a 47.18-acre parcel that is owned by Constance Wright.
A combination of state ($461,498), county ($184,599) and municipal ($123,066) funding will pay for the $769,164 easement that will preclude development from occurring on Wright’s property.
The purchase of the easement was recommended to the freeholders by the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board, which deemed the purchase “necessary and advisable to acquire and preserve a development easement for agricultural purposes,” according to the resolution.
Upper Freehold’s Township Administrator Dianne Kelly said the Wright farm is on Route 539, about 1 mile from Allentown. Kelly described the parcel as a family farm with excellent, tillable soil. She said the farm backs up to Doctors Creek.