Monmouth freeholders preserve open space in county’s panhandle region

The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders is spending money to preserve open space in the western portion of the county. The freeholders took two actions at their meeting on Nov. 8 that affect one property each in Millstone Township and in Upper Freehold Township.

First, the freeholders passed a resolution authorizing the acquisition of land in Millstone Township for additions to the Charleston Springs Golf Course, which is operated by the county.

The freeholders will acquire a 28-acre parcel on Sweetmans Lane known as the Tsanakos property for $1.59 million, contingent upon a satisfactory title and environmental review of the property, according to the resolution. The property owners are Athena and Kosta Tsanakos.

The Board of Recreation Commissioners recommended that the freeholders purchase the property. The funds will come from the Monmouth County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, according to the resolution.

The purchase of the property will advance the county’s open space preservation, natural resources conservation and public park and recreation purposes.

Second, the freeholders passed a resolution authorizing the release of funds for a farmland preservation easement in Upper Freehold Township. The property where the easement will be acquired is known as the Jersey Longhorn, LLC property on Route 526 and it encompasses 59.042 acres, according to the resolution.

According to the freeholders, a formal offer of the purchase of a development easement in the total amount of $738,025 has been accepted, contingent upon satisfactory title of the property. The purchase of the easement means the property will not be developed and will be restricted to agricultural preservation purposes.

The state will pay $442,815 (60 percent), Monmouth County will pay $177,126 (24 percent) and Upper Freehold Township will pay $118,084 (16 percent) of the purchase price of the easement, according to the resolution. The county’s share will be paid from the Open Space and Farmland Preservation Trust Account.

The purchase of the development easement was recommended to the freeholders by the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board.