Township of Blairstown, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-28-2001 by Ord. No. 2004-01; amended in its entirety 2-11-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-01]

§ 51-1 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Municipal Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Ordinance."

§ 51-2 Establishment of fund.

A. 
There is hereby established a reserve in the general capital fund which shall be noted and designated as the "Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund." A separate bank account shall be established and maintained therefor entitled "Township of Blairstown Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund." As directed by the Township Committee, funds from the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund may be utilized for the following purposes:
(1) 
Acquisition of lands, or any interest therein, for recreation and conservation purposes;
(2) 
Development of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes;
(3) 
Maintenance of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes;
(4) 
Acquisition of farmland for farmland preservation purposes;
(5) 
Historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects, and the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects for historic preservation purposes; or
(6) 
Payment of debt service on indebtedness issued or incurred by the Township for any of the purposes set forth in Subsection A(1), (2), (4) or (5).
B. 
The acquisition of real property, for the purposes of aforesaid, shall include, at the discretion of the Township Committee, the purchase of all types of interests in real property, including, not by way of limitation, fee simple acquisitions, easements, development rights or any other lesser interests in real estate or the purchase of personal property which will further the goal of acquiring recreational or historic lands or facilities and/or preserving open space, farmland and historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas or objects. The real estate in which such interests may be acquired shall include undeveloped land as well as land containing improvements at the time of acquisition, provided that the principal purpose of the acquisition is a purpose as set forth in this chapter. The Township Committee shall have the option of paying for land acquisitions with improvements situated thereon either solely through the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund or by apportioning the cost thereof by charging the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for the land portion and the capital account for the improvement portion. It is understood that such acquisition may occur via gift, purchase or by eminent domain proceedings pursuant to N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 et seq. In addition, the Township Committee may authorize the disbursement of monies from the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund to assist the County of Warren in acquiring interests in real property located within the Township for the purposes stated herein, provided that suitable arrangements are made to assure that:
(1) 
Such lands are made subject to restrictions substantially similar to those imposed by this chapter; and
(2) 
In the event that such interests subsequently are sold, the net proceeds of such disposition will be paid over to the Township's Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund in the same proportion that the Township's contribution bore to the original purchase price.

§ 51-3 Funding.

Beginning in 2004, a special tax rate shall be added to the total Township tax rate in the amount of $0.04 per $100 of the annual assessed valuations and tax rate, the revenue from which shall be deposited into the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. The Township Committee may, at its discretion, deposit additional municipal monies into the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, which deposits shall then be subject to all of the provisions governing the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. The Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund shall also be permitted to accept donations and testamentary bequests. The funds accumulated within the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund shall be utilized for the purposes as set forth in this chapter. In connection with the acquisition of real estate or personal property, the funds may be utilized for appraisals and other items of expense permitted by law in connection with said acquisition or as a down payment for the issuance of bonds or for debt service for the same purpose at the discretion of the Township Committee. Any and all interest accruing shall remain in the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund and may be utilized for the above-described purposes. The Township shall obtain a minimum of one appraisal from a certified appraiser, plus the appraisal of the tax, as a guide to fair market value. The cost of such appraisal may be paid out of the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

§ 51-4 Use and utilization of acquired assets.

A. 
All real estate and personal property acquired with Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund shall be utilized in a manner consistent with the purposes for which said fund was created.
B. 
The deed of any real estate acquired wholly or partly with funds from the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund shall contain a specific notation reflecting that the property was acquired with funds from the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

§ 51-5 Sale of assets.

No real estate or personal property or interest therein acquired with funds from the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund shall be sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise alienated unless it is needed for another public use or otherwise furthers the purposes of the Trust. If such a sale, lease or conveyance is made, the Township Committee shall be required to:
A. 
Place the monies received into the Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund for uses consistent with the purposes of which said fund was created; and
B. 
In due course, replace such property or interest with property or an interest of at least equal fair market value and of reasonable equivalent usefulness, size, quality and location of the land conveyed.