[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mannington 2-1-2007 by Ord. No. 07-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land development — See Ch. 70.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "Farmland Preservation, Open Space Conservation, and Recreation Trust Fund," or as "Open Space Fund."
There is hereby established, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.7, a municipal Open Space, Recreation, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund (to be known and cited as set forth in § 71-2, above) to be used for the funding, acquisition, preservation and maintenance of lands in Mannington Township for farmland, recreation and conservation purposes, or any combination thereof, as determined by the Mannington Township Committee, to facilitate the preservation of farmland and open space, including natural areas, sensitive habitats and water resources, by and through all appropriate means, including but not limited to leasing such lands, if owned by Mannington Township, to qualified persons or entities on appropriate terms and conditions for agriculture, conservation, hunting, or other purposes that are consistent with the purposes of this chapter, subject to the provisions of the Local Lands and Buildings Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12-1 et seq., or other applicable laws, provided that all rents received pursuant to such leases must be placed in the Open Space Fund. The Open Space Fund shall be administered by the Township Committee.
Unless otherwise set forth in this chapter, the words and phrases used in this chapter that are defined in N.J.S.A. 40:12-15 et seq., as amended, shall have the meanings specified in N.J.S.A. 40:12-15 et seq., as amended.
The Township Committee is authorized to take such action, by majority vote, as the Township Committee deems appropriate to carry out the purposes for which the Open Space Fund is established as set forth in § 71-3 above. The Township Committee shall, by ordinance, determine the amount of funds to be allocated for those purposes in each instance.
Beginning in 2007, a special tax levy shall be added to the total Township tax rate for each year in the amount of $0.02 per $100 of the annual assessed valuations. The revenue from the levy shall be deposited into the Open Space Fund. A separate bank account entitled "Mannington Township Open Space Fund" shall be opened and maintained for this purpose.
The Township Committee may, in its discretion, deposit additional municipal, state, and federal monies into the Open Space Fund, which deposits shall then be subject to all of the provisions governing the Open Space Fund.
The Open Space Fund shall be permitted to accept donations and testamentary bequests, provided that such donations and testamentary bequests are not subject to terms or conditions that are unacceptable to the Township Committee.
Funds accumulated within the Open Space Fund shall be utilized for:
Acquisition and preservation of land. Funds may be used to acquire, preserve, and maintain all types of interests in real property, including but not limited to fee-simple acquisitions, easements, development rights or any other lesser interests in real estate that will further the purposes for which the Open Space Fund is established as set forth in § 71-3 above. The lands in which such interests may be acquired, preserved and maintained shall include undeveloped land as well as land containing improvements at the time of acquisition, provided that the principal purpose of each acquisition is to carry out the purposes for which the Open Space Fund is established as set forth in § 71-3 above. Funds may also be used for appraisals, surveys, environmental assessments, engineering and legal fees, title search and title insurance premium costs, and any other transaction cost or item of expense as may be permitted by law in connection with such acquisition, preservation or maintenance, or as a down payment for the issuance of bonds or for debt service for such purposes.
Development and maintenance of structures and improvements that promote agricultural, open space conservation, and recreational purposes. Funds may be used to develop and maintain structures and improvements that promote the purposes for which the Open Space Fund is established as set forth in § 71-3 above, by benefiting, enhancing, serving, or otherwise increasing or improving the quality or utility of lands that are devoted to agriculture, open space conservation, and/or recreational use.
Lands acquired by Mannington Township using revenue from the Open Space Fund shall be held in trust and used exclusively for the purposes set forth in this chapter. Except as provided in § 71-3 above, no property or interest in land acquired with funds from the Open Space Fund shall be leased, sold or otherwise disposed of by the Township in any manner unless it is needed for another public use or otherwise furthers the purposes of the Open Space Fund, in which case such sale, lease or conveyance must conform to all applicable requirements of N.J.S.A. 40:12-15 et seq., as amended.