Howell officials introduce ordinance to purchase tract on Fort Plains Road

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HOWELL – The members of the Howell Township Council have introduced a capital ordinance that, if adopted, will permit municipal officials to move forward with a plan to buy a 30-acre property on Fort Plains Road and preserve the land as open space.

The ordinance was introduced on Aug. 11. Councilman Thomas Russo made the motion to introduce the ordinance and Russo, Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell and Councilwoman Pamela Richmond voted “yes” to introduce the legislation.

Councilman John Bonevich was absent from the meeting.

Richmond said the property municipal officials want to purchase is buildable and is worth pursuing.

A public hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 1. Council members may vote to adopt the ordinance following the public hearing.

The council is seeking to purchase the property from the United Talmudical Academy and proposes appropriating $1.06 million to do so. Council members said they have determined to make the purchase for open space preservation purposes.

Municipal officials said the money for the purchase is available in Howell’s Open Space and Recreation Trust Fund.

According to the ordinance, officials may apply any grant money Howell receives toward the cost of the purchase.