TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Steve Sweeney which appropriates $200 million in bond funding from the State to cover the cost of acquiring and developing land for farmland and historic preservation projects throughout New Jersey was signed into law today by Governor Jon Corzine.
“As New Jersey’s population continues to grow, so will the amount of space needed to house all of its residents,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “This funding will allow towns around the State to conserve necessary open space and historic properties so that future generations will be have access to some of the State’s most valuable resources. While development is absolutely necessary, it cannot consume all of the State’s open space.”
Under Senator Sweeney’s bill, S-3005, which is also known as the “Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007,” a public question would be placed on the November ballot asking residents to authorize the issuance of the bond funding to acquire the land. The $200 million would be divided as follows: $109 million for purchasing land for public recreation and conservation; $73 million for farmland preservation; $12 million to fund the “Blue Acres” bond program, which would fund conservation along flood prone areas like the Delaware River, Passaic River and Raritan River basin floodways; and $6 million for historic preservation.
“Because of New Jersey’s close proximity to a number of large waterways, flooding has become a major issue in certain sections of the State. By appropriating the ‘Blue Acres’ bond funding, flood-prone areas would be able to purchase land closer to rivers waterways to serve as buffer zones between the rivers and the towns to help cut back on flood damage,” said Senator Sweeney.
This measure received final legislative approval on June 21.