Mercer and Middlesex Among 16 Counties to Share $39 Million in Preservation Grants
TRENTON – Senator Linda Greenstein today applauded the signing of legislation that will dedicate millions of dollars to farmland preservation efforts across the state, including in the counties of Middlesex and Mercer.
“New Jersey’s farmland preservation program is a model for the nation. With the support of our residents, we have been able to protect farmers from the pressures of development in the most densely populated state in the nation and to preserve an industry that contributes an enormous amount to our state economy,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “With the signing of these bills, we take another significant step forward in these efforts.”
The four bill package (S2894, S-2895, S-2896 and S-2897), signed today by Governor Chris Christie at Terhune Orchard in Princeton Township, allocates more than $90 million to farmland preservation efforts across the state. The counties of Mercer and Middlesex are among 16 counties that will share $39 million in grants to help in acquiring development easements on farmland under one of the measures. Under the legislation (S-2896), each county will receive a $1.5 million base grant. The counties will also be eligible to compete to receive an additional grant of up to $3 million each from a competitive grant fund of $15 million, for a maximum grant award of $4.5 million.
Another bill (S-2895), sponsored by Senator Greenstein, will provide $23 million to municipalities for farmland preservation efforts. Two additional bills (S-2894 and S-2897) will dedicated a combined $32 million to farmland preservation.
All four bills were approved unanimously by the Legislature in June.