Freeholders Approve South Brunswick Open Space Acquisition

MIDDLESEX COUNTY –The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a South Brunswick open space acquisition at Thursday’s regular meeting, advancing a goal set forth by the Master Plan. Located in a semi-rural residential section of South Brunswick, the approximately 40-acre property will create a contiguous stretch of preserved land within the municipality.

The Himmel Property abuts Ireland Brook Conservation Area, an undeveloped 444-acre parcel owned by the County. The property’s acquisition will create 484 acres of adjoining, undeveloped land that area residents would benefit from for generations to come.

One of the County Open Space Master Plan’s primary objectives is to pursue properties for acquisition that are adjacent to or that can be added to existing parkland.

“By preserving the Himmel Property we allow for an uninterrupted sprawl of open space,” said Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante, liaison to the County’s Open Space Advisory Committee. “At the same time, we stymie potential development, which can typically become a burden on local infrastructure, not to mention taxpayers.”

Officials have agreed to the selling price of $850,000 with current property owner, William Himmel. They expect to close on the property by fall 2012.

In its efforts to offset acquisition costs, the county has applied to the Green Acres Fund for financial assistance.

“Since 1995, Middlesex County has made land preservation a top priority,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “With the support of constituents, both the Freeholders and the Middlesex County Improvement Authority have worked tirelessly to protect what remains of our undeveloped lands. In doing so, we’ve been able to preserve forever 7,457 acres of open space property to date.”

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