FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ralph Albanir, Infrastructure Management Department Head
Monroe Farm becomes 52nd Farm
Preserved in County
JUNE 27, 2014 – A 37.7-acre farm has become the 10th farm in Monroe Township and the 52nd in Middlesex County preserved forever now that it has entered the Middlesex County Farmland Preservation Program.
The County, with its funds and contributions from the State and Monroe Township, purchased an agriculture preservation easement on Indyk’s Farm, owned by Benjamin and Catherine Konopacki of Monroe.
The total cost of the development rights for the farm on Spotswood-Englishtown Road are $904,550.40. The State contributed $539,432.64. The County paid $182,558.88 and Monroe Township also paid $182,558.88. The purchase was completed June 10.
“I am very pleased to be able to announce the addition of this farm to the Middlesex County Farmland Preservation Program,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “This is great news, and I want to thank our partners at the State and in the Township for sharing our goal of forever safeguarding our land.”
With the addition of Indyk’s Farm, more than 5,400 acres of farmland, have been preserved throughout the County. That number includes preservation easements purchased through the County Farmland Preservation Program funds, as well as purchases made directly by the State, the municipalities, non-profit organizations and land donated to the County. The acquisition of Indyk’s Farm brings Monroe Township’s total preserved farmland base to 1,296 acres, which includes lands preserved through the Farmland Preservation Program as well as through other means such as municipal easements.
“My Freeholder colleagues and I are committed to preserving as much Open Space and Farmland as we can in an effort to maintain the County’s high quality of life,” said Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro, Chair of the County’s Infrastructure Management Committee. “We have saved forever more than 12,000 acres of open space and farmland and are actively pursuing more acres so that these precious lands can be enjoyed now and in the future.”
Middlesex County’s Farmland Preservation Program purchases the non-agriculture development rights on farmland that meets criteria established by the Middlesex County Agriculture Development Board and the New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee. The value is determined by two independent appraisals. The farmland is preserved by placing an agriculture preservation easement on the property. The state, county and town share the cost of the farms’ development rights, with the state paying the majority of the purchase price. Middlesex County’s program is strictly voluntary. Farmland owners interested in participating in the program must submit a formal application to the County Agriculture Development Board. Farm owners interested in the program can contact Laurie Sobel, Senior Environmental Planner, of the Middlesex County Office of Planning at 732-745-4014.