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Home Featured ‘A proud moment’

‘A proud moment’

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‘A proud moment’
"I'm proud of the township's commitment to preserving our open spaces. It's important to note that this expenditure will not burden the taxpayers," Mayor Shawn Lipani said. PHOTO BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF

Two properties that were pending warehouse developments will now be part of the Hillsborough Township’s open space inventory.

The Township Committee unanimously voted in favor of an ordinance for the purchase of two properties – 1170 Millstone River Road and 303 Amwell Road at a meeting in November.

Township officials had come together to make an announcement of the purchase of the two properties in front of the municipal building in October.

“The negotiated price of land acquisition is $9.5 million,” Mayor Shawn Lipani explained. “The acquisition [price is] significantly reduced from the sellers’ appraisal of approximately $11.3 million. Successful negotiations present significant cost savings of approximately $2.4 million for the township while securing additions to our open space’s inventory.

“I’m proud of the township’s commitment to preserving our open spaces. It’s important to note that this expenditure will not burden the taxpayers. Funds are available in our well managed open space trust account, which is set aside to ensure long-term sustainability of our open space preservation efforts.

” [We are] fortunate to have the financial means to secure this land for generations to come. These funds can only be utilized with the purchase of open space.”

The Amwell Road property is 11.35 acres and another the Millstone River Road is 17.42 acres, officials said.

“The acquisition of the properties add 28.77 acres to the township’s current aggregation of land protected from residential development bringing the township’s total acreage to 13,241 or 37.83 percent of the total acreage of the township of Hillsborough,” Committeeman James Ruh said.

At the announcement of the purchase in October, Deputy Mayor Robert Britting said he made a promise that he would do everything in his power to try to protect the town on behalf of his children and their friends when he became involved in the township.

“It’s a proud moment for me as a dad to do that for them,” he said.

Ruh added that both properties are located within close proximity to residential acreage.

“The lack of appropriate infrastructure and environmental concerns make these properties fitting additions to expanding the township’s greenway areas,” he said. “We recognize the importance of increasing truck traffic on our residential roadways, preserving natural landscapes for our residents and taking proactive steps and towards expanding our open space portfolio by repurposing these properties.”

Britting said it was important to note that the township’s director of environmental health confirmed there was no contamination on the purchased properties.