HomeTri-TownTri-Town NewsHowell authorizes purchase of parcel for open space preservation

Howell authorizes purchase of parcel for open space preservation

HOWELL – The Howell Township Council has voted to authorize the acquisition of 4 acres of vacant land on Maxim Road and to preserve the parcel as open space. The tract is known as the Van Schoick property.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilman Thomas Russo and Councilwoman Pamela Richmond authorized the purchase on June 11. Howell purchased the property for $10,800.

According to the ordinance adopted by the council, the members of the governing body recognized the need to acquire the additional open space to enhance the health and welfare of Howell’s citizens and to advance the preservation of natural resources in the township.

In late 2018, Howell officials and the Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) entered into an agreement under which the foundation would identify potential opportunities in Howell for the preservation of open space, according to the ordinance.

The foundation subsequently identified the Van Schoick property as being of interest for acquisition by Howell. Municipal officials asked the foundation to negotiate the purchase of the property on Howell’s behalf and to finalize the acquisition.

Municipal officials paid for the purchase through the use of open space funds and any available grant money. Officials said they would apply to receive 50 percent grant reimbursement from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres program for contributions and expenditures made for the purchase of the property.

In other business, the council introduced an ordinance which, if adopted, will require the owners of all houses, buildings and properties in the Freewood Acres section that have private potable water facilities to connect to a public water system that is being constructed. The connection must be made within one year from the date of the official notice from the township to do so. A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at the council’s July 16 meeting.

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