County to Purchase 97 Acres of Land for Open Space
Jackson/Brick–Two tracts of land totaling more than 97 acres along the Toms River will be forever preserved as open space and add to the county’s efforts to protect the Barnegat Bay Watershed.
The Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee has recommended the purchase of 76.26 acres in Jackson Township known as the Maple Root River property.
The Maple Root Branch of the Toms River runs through the wooded land located off Bowman Road.
“This property is located between 4,453 acres of pristine woodlands already preserved by the county, state and neighboring municipalities,” said Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr.
The asking price of the property was $450,000 but the negotiated sale price is $300,000.
Bartlett, who is also liaison to the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund, said the purchase is eligible for funding from both the Department of Defense and the Pinelands Conservation Fund.
The Trust Fund Committee also recommended the purchase of the 21-acre Manchester Avenue Property in Toms River Township.
Located along the North Branch of the Toms River, the property adjoins 263 additional acres that are already preserved along the river.
The asking price of property was $850,000. The final negotiated sale price is $600,000.
“Preserving these vital parcels is part of the county’s ongoing effort to protect the Barnegat Bay,” said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. “By ensuring these lands remain free of development we’re working to keep the river and bay clean for generations to come.”
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders is expected to accept the Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee’s recommendations and authorize a resolution of sale for both properties at its September 5 meeting.
The Freeholders are also expected to accept the donation of a third tract for open space preservation.
The owners of a .46-acre lot in Berkeley Township are willing to donate the land, located on the paper street known as Monmouth Avenue, to the Natural Lands Trust Fund.
The parcel sits adjacent to the 126-acre Lifetime Homes tract, which was acquired and preserved by the county in 2000.
The county will pay the closing costs for the property transfer, which will not exceed $1,000.
Since its inception in 1998, the Natural Lands Trust Fund, paid for by a 1.2-cent voter-approved dedicated tax, has preserved more than 11,800 acres of open space.