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Weinberg Bill to Make Palisades Interstate Park Commission Eligible for Open Space, Historic Preservation Funding Advances

Senator Weinberg speaks at a press conference on marriage equality.

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg that would allow the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) to be eligible for open space and historic preservation funding under the “Preserve New Jersey Act” was approved by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.

“Palisades Interstate Park is a shining example of what can happen when government is prodded into doing the right thing,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “The park was created early in the last century after advocates from New Jersey and New York came together to stop private quarry companies from literally blasting away a natural wonder. The bi-state Palisades Interstate Park Commission is charged with preserving the beauty of the Palisades and the surrounding park land. Palisades Interstate Park has both scenic and historic value to the public. The commission should be able to apply for open space and historic preservation funding.”

Under the bill, S-1760, a PIPC project would be considered a “state” project for the purpose of eligibility for open space funding, as well as for historic preservation funding. Access to open space funds would help the park maintains sites, like the historic Kearney House, also known as “Cornwallis Headquarters.”

The “Preserve New Jersey Act” implements for State fiscal years 2017 through 2019, the constitutional dedication of corporation business tax revenues for open space, farmland and historic preservation.

Palisades Interstate Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965, and in 1983, “The Palisades of the Hudson” was designated a National Natural Landmark.

The bill was approved by a vote of 4-0, and advances to the full Senate for further consideration.