News Details

County to endorse purchase of development rights for 22 Farms The move will preserve 1,005 acres in 10 towns

(Woodbury, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Deputy Director Bob Damminger announced today that the Freeholders are scheduled to adopt a resolution endorsing the purchase of the development rights for 22 Gloucester County farms. These properties were all certified and approved to enter the farmland preservation program by the State of New Jersey, and this action by the Freeholders is required in order to continue the preservation process.

The properties included in this action contain land in 10 different Gloucester County municipalities including Clayton, East Greenwich, Elk, Franklin, Harrison, Logan, Mantua, Monroe, South Harrison, and Woolwich.

"The properties combined total more than 1,000 acres. In the coming weeks the engineering, survey, and title work will begin on these properties and it is expected that settlements will begin to occur by the end of this year," said Freeholder Director Sweeney.

"It is very exciting that the County has been so successful in working with our farmers to preserve this land. Our farmers want to farm, they don't want to be bought out by developers. This program allows our farmers to continue making Gloucester County the agricultural leader in New Jersey," stated Freeholder Director Sweeney.

Freeholder Deputy Director Damminger, liaison to the Office of Land Preservation, said that all the landowners have agreed to settlement prices based on a per-acre amount, however these prices are considered confidential until settlement formally occurs.

"There is no doubt that if we didnt have this preservation program to present to our farmers, some of them would have entertained offers from developers," said Freeholder Damminger.

Damminger said that the County expects to spend approximately $6 million dollars on its share of the settlement costs. While the State will share in the settlement costs for these properties, initially the County will utilize the $16 million dollar bond that was approved earlier this year to initiate quicker settlements. The subsequent reimbursement received by the State will be used to help pay off the bonds. This use of the bond allows the County to make quicker settlements on these properties, which otherwise could pull out of the program due to intensive development pressures.

"The Freeholder Board is committed to preserving our rich agricultural tradition through promoting programs like this and by going the extra mile to bond funds to expedite the acquisition so we don't lose farmers in the process," said Damminger.

Since the implementation of the County's open space and farmland preservation program, more than 13,000 acres of land has been preserved in 14 municipalities. This action by the Freeholders serves to further that effort.

Farms approved to enter the 2005 round of the Farmland Preservation Program

Applicant: Cedarvale FLP & Leroy Gaventa
Municipality: Logan Township
Acres (approx): 84.99

Applicant: Carmen and Josephine DiBella
Municipality: Woolwich Township Acres (approx.): 36.18

Applicant: Virgil Eachus
Municipality: Mantua Township
Acres (approx.): 99.0

Applicant: Anthony and Gloria Emerson
Municipality: Franklin Township
Acres (approx.): 31.0

Applicant: Robert and Joanne Gootee and the Estate of Dorothy Gootee
Municipality: Monroe Township
Acres (approx.): 31.29

Applicant: Dennis and Kelly Haden
Municipality: Franklin Township
Acres (approx.): 21.93

Applicant: Joseph and Julie Hanahan
Municipality: Woolwich Township
Acres (approx.): 6.12

Applicant: Thomas and Diane Harrell
Municipality: Franklin Township
Acres (approx.): 21.80

Applicant: Daniel and Elinor Haynicz
Municipality: Elk Township
Acres (approx.): 67.61

Applicant: Helig Orchards Inc.
Municipality: Mantua Township
Acres (approx.): 106.50

Applicant: Brian and Jaqueline Horne
Municipality: Harrison Township
Acres (approx.): 33.29

Applicant: John Katinos
Municipality: Harrison Township
Acres (approx.): 16.22

Applicant: Warren and Gladys
Leatherwood
Municipality: South Harrison Township
Acres (approx.): 40.97

Applicant: Joseph and Samuel Leone
Municipality: Mantua and East
Greenwich Townships
Acres (approx.): 30.0

Applicant: Rita Marino / Alfred Marino Trust
Municipality: South Harrison Township
Acres (approx.): 157.27

Applicant: Nancy Musser
Municipality: East Greenwich Township
Acres (approx.): 17.65

Applicant: Darlene Power
Municipality: Clayton Borough
Acres (approx.): 8.1

Applicant: Edward and Susan Eivich (Rambo-MacKannan Property)
Municipality: Mantua Township
Acres (approx.): 27.64

Applicant: Charles, Eileen, and Ronald Rauchfuss
Municipality: Franklin Township
Acres (approx.): 31.45

Applicant: Dion Snyder / The Back Creek Holding Trust
Municipality: Harrison and Woolwich Townships
Acres (approx.): 80.0

Applicant: Walter and Marian Turk
Municipality: Harrison Township
Acres (approx.): 28.07

Applicant: Edward and Jane Zirbser
Municipality: South Harrison Township
Acres (approx.): 28.60

TOTAL ACRES: 1,005.68