Millstone partners with Monmouth County to preserve 600 acres

MILLSTONE – Officials in Millstone Township have entered into a shared services agreement with Monmouth County to preserve 600 acres of open space in the municipality.

On Sept. 1, Township Committee members authorized the agreement between the township and the county for the preservation of the Toms River Headwaters project area.

The project was identified for preservation in the 2019 Monmouth County Open Space Plan, according to a resolution.

According to the county’s open space plan, the area forms the headwaters of the Toms River and has significant patches of Century Forest. Monmouth County officials are seeking to preserve 150 parcels (600 acres) of open space.

As stated in the open space plan, the purpose of the preservation/management project is to protect the forest (including the patches of Century Forest) and forested wetlands habitat areas.

“These efforts should be focused on activities that provide proper habitat management and possibly trail access, with both improving the quality of life of the local neighborhoods,” officials wrote in the plan.

The project is not a new county acquisition project area, but a regional resource the county is seeking to protect and improve by the coordination of municipal partners through local acquisition, conservation easements and stream channel stabilization, according to the plan.

The plan notes that Millstone Township officials acquired a 13-acre tract in the project area, which demonstrated the viability of a coordinated partnership to county officials.

According to the township’s resolution, the shared services agreement was made on the recommendation of the Millstone Township Open Space Preservation Council.

“Entering into a shared services agreement would provide the framework for the preservation of the Toms River Headwaters project area,” the resolution states.

In other business, committee members appointed Karen Krimin as a full-time buildings and grounds maintenance custodian. The hourly rate is $15 for 40 hours per week.