Hopewell Township, FoHVOS seek to preserve Walker property as open space

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The Hopewell Township Committee introduced an ordinance that would enter the township into a partnership with Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) for the $250,000 purchase of property for open space.

This ordinance would authorize the acquisition of a 10% interest in the roughly 17.1-acre Jonathan Walker property along Woosamonsa Road and preserve it as open space.

The public hearing for the ordinance will take place on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.

According to the ordinance and agreement, FoHVOS has entered into an agreement with Walker to purchase the property for $250,000.

The nonprofit’s website states that the organization’s mission is to preserve Hopewell Valley’s character by partnering with the community to preserve land, protect natural resources and inspire conservation.

If the ordinance is approved by the Township Committee, Hopewell Township will contribute $25,000 to the property’s acquisition.

“This is an ordinance authorizing the township to enter into a partnership with FoHVOS and pay 10% of the purchase price of $250,000. That is $25,000 for the purchase of the Walker property and the township will have a 10% ownership of the property and the agreement also determines maintenance requirements,” Township Administrator George Snyder said at the committee meeting on Feb. 7. “The lot is 1 mile east of Trenton Harbourton Road and across from the Woosamonsa Hiking Ridge Preserve.”

The township would utilize $25,000 from the Hopewell Township Open Space Trust Funds and at closing will agree to the 10% ownership stake referenced by Snyder.

Along with the $25,000 from Hopewell Township, FoHVOS is using state grant funds from New Jersey Green Acres Program and grant funds from Mercer County.

The nonprofit organization will contribute $109,720 from the state Green Acres Program and $115,280 from a Mercer County Open Space grant that is has received towards the purchase, according to the agreement.

FoHVOS would also receive a 90% interest in the property following the official closing of the purchased property.

About 16.2 acres of the Walker property is set to be persevered and once the purchase is closed FoHVOS will also manage the property for conservation and recreation.