BACKGROUND & OVERVIEW

STRATEGIC PARKS AND OPEN SPACE PLAN - NEW April 15, 2016

TRUST FUND PLAN - updated March 15, 2016

PROCEDURES/POLICIES & RELATED DOCUMENTS

GRANT APPLICATION PROGRAM

PARKS AND OPEN SPACE ADVISORY COMMITTEE & MEETINGS

LINKS

Open Space Trust Fund Program

Route 12 County Complex
Building #1
PO Box 2900
Flemington, NJ 08822-2900

908-788-1490
planning@co.hunterdon.nj.us

 

BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW

Hunterdon County voters have overwhelmingly approved three (3) County Questions (November 1999, 2004, and 2008) authorizing the Board of Chosen Freeholders to implement and continue an Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund pursuant to P.L. 1997, c. 24. (N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.1 et seq.) The proposition authorizes the County of Hunterdon to impose an annual levy for an amount or at a rate deemed appropriate for any or all of the following purposes, or any combination thereof, as determined by the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders;

  1. acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes;
  2. development of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes;
  3. maintenance of land acquired for recreation and conservation purposes;
  4. acquisition of farmland for farmland preservation purposes;
  5. historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects, and the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects for historic preservation purposes; or
  6. payment of debt service or indebtedness issued or incurred by the County of Hunterdon for any of the purposes set forth in (a), (b), (d), or (e) above.

County Ballot Questions:

The 2008 referendum was approved by the voters and authorized Hunterdon County to collect an open space tax on real estate of up to $0.03 per $100 value. The Board of Chosen Freeholders have followed the goals and recommendations of the Open Space Trust Fund Plan to develop and implement various grant programs and allocate specific percentages of the Trust Fund to these purposes.

The following is a breakdown of the Trust Fund allocations, the grant programs offered and their associated revenue collected in 2015:

 

Current Allocations

%

CY2016 Funding Levels

 

Farmland Preservation Grant Program

30%

 $         1,885,365.30

Cooperative Grant Program

25%

 $         1,571,137.75

Non Profit Grant Program

15%

 $            942,682.65

County Open Space

15%

 $            942,682.65

Municipal Grant Program

10%

 $            628,455.10

Historic Preservation Grant Program

3.5%

 $            219,959.29

County Historic Preservation

1.5%

 $              94,268.26

 

100%

 $         6,284,551.00

2015 Trust Fund Allocation Chart

The Hunterdon Open Space Trust Fund Plan was prepared by the County Planning Board to provide the Freeholder Board with policy guidance on the selection of lands for preservation purposes including administrative and cost-effective ways to advance Hunterdon County ’s open space, farmland and historic preservation goals and objectives. These objectives also appear in the Hunterdon County Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan, adopted December 2008; the Hunterdon County Growth Management Plan, adopted December 2007; the Hunterdon County Park and Recreation Master Plan 2000 and the Sites of Historic Interest – an element of the Hunterdon County Master Plan (updates in progress). Moreover, the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted the Open Space, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation Policy #:2008-02, on October 7, 2008: Revised October 5, 2010. This Policy (“Policy #:2008-02”) is intended to generally outline the Practices and Procedures of the Board of Chosen Freeholders when selecting, evaluating and acquiring interests in real property for Open Space, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation Purposes by the County of Hunterdon, and which is incorporated in the Procedures Manual.

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PARKS AND OPEN SPACE STRATEGIC PLAN:

The County of Hunterdon has engaged the services of Maser Consulting to help conduct a Strategic Parks and Open Space Plan. Maser will be assisted by GreenPlay LLC, a nationally renowned park and recreation consulting firm. The intent of this comprehensive plan is to identify our community’s park and recreation needs so we can proactively plan for the future.

FOCUS GROUP MEETINGS:

As a component of the planning process, the consultant team is conducting a series of focus groups meetings with community leaders, residents, and park users. Because we value your opinion, we invite you to participate in one of these focus groups. The meetings will consist of approximately 10 - 20 participants and may last up to 90 minutes. The consultants will ask participants a variety of questions to assess customer satisfaction, parks, recreation and open space needs of the community, and issues that should be addressed in the strategic plan. With a focus group, there are never wrong answers, so everybody is encouraged to be open and freely express their thoughts.

DOWNLOAD INVITATION TO MAY 2016 FOCUS GROUP MEETINGS
The following meetings will take place on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in Building #1 at the Route 12 County Complex. To accommodate your busy schedule, a variety of meeting times are available on a first come first serve basis.

Monday 5/2/2016

  • 8:30 am - 11:00 am: Morning Focus Group (RSVP) Route 12 Multi-purpose room
  • 11:30 am - 1:00 pm: Mid-Day Focus Group (RSVP) Route 12 Multi-purpose room
  • 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Afternoon Focus Group (RSVP) Route 12 Multi-purpose room
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm: Evening Focus Group (RSVP) Route 12 Multi-purpose room

Tuesday 5/3/2016

  • 8:30 – 10:00 am: Morning Focus Group (RSVP) Route 12 Multi-purpose room
  • 11:30 am - 1:00 pm: Mid-Day Focus Group (RSVP) Route 12 Multi-purpose room

Wednesday 5/4/2016

  • 7:30 am – 9:00 am: Morning Focus Group (RSVP) Planning Board Conference Room
  • 11:30 am - 1:00 pm: Mid-Day Focus Group (RSVP) Planning Board Conference Room
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm: Public Meeting (Advertised) Route 12 Multi-purpose Room
TO RSVP Contact William Millette at 908-788-1490 or email wmillette@co.hunterdon.nj.us

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 7:00 pm (press release)

The County of Hunterdon is conducting a Strategic Parks and Open Space Plan, and wants to hear from all park users, community residents, business owners, sports groups, and other any other interested parties. We will be hosting a Public Meeting on Wednesday May 4th at 7pm in the Assembly Room, Building #1, Route 12 County Complex, Flemington. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend

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TRUST FUND PLAN:

2000 ADOPTED TRUST FUND PLAN:

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PROCEDURES/POLICIES & RELATED DOCUMENTS:

Procedures Manual for the Municipal and Nonprofit Grant Programs; Cooperative Open Space Acquisition Assistance; & Historic Preservation Grant Program (5th Edition- 2010)

Freeholder Board Policy #2008-02 (revised 2010)

2014 Annual Report

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GRANT APPLICATION PROGRAMS:

The Freeholder Board is pleased to announce a Municipal Grants Program and Nonprofit Grants Program that will advance mutually beneficial land preservation objectives and increase funding sources and opportunities with State Green Acres and Farmland Preservation Programs, and municipal and nonprofit organization open space preservation initiatives.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders shall determine, on an annual basis, the funding to be allocated to each of these new programs but not to exceed ten (10%) percent respectively of the total annual levy that is collected. Municipalities can apply for Open Space Trust Funds for planning related documents or for preservation and acquisition of lands for recreation, conservation, general open space and farmland purposes. Municipalities may also apply County Trust Funds toward retiring new debt service incurred for eligible acquisition purposes, and may use Trust Funds for the restoration/rehabilitation of county-owned historic facilities. Nonprofit Organizations can apply for Trust Funds exclusively for the preservation and acquisition of lands for recreation, conservation and general open space purposes; however funding will be awarded on a competitive basis and limited to not more than 20% of the cost of eligible land acquisition.

For the first year, Hunterdon County projects a collection of $3.6 million with the Municipal and Nonprofit Grants Programs receiving $360,000 each. Another 10% or $360,000 will be made available to municipalities for restoration/rehabilitation of county-owned historic facilities. The remaining County Open Space Trust Funds will be used for continued Farmland Preservation and Park System land purchases by the County Agriculture Development Board and Board of Recreation Commissioners.

Copies of the Hunterdon County Open Space, Farmland & Historic Preservation Trust Fund Plan have been distributed to all municipal clerks and planning boards in the County.

Municipal Grant Application
Form Only:
Non-Profit Grant Application
Form Only:
Historic Preservation Grant
Application:
PDF Format PDF Format PDF Format
Microsoft Word - Attachment I (excel form) Microsoft Word - Attachment II (excel form) Microsoft Word

 

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OPEN SPACE ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

2016 Annual Meeting Notice

2015 Committee Members (2016 coming soon)

2016 AGENDAS & MINUTES:

All meetings are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. at the 314 State Rt. 12, County Complex, Building No. 1, Room No. 140, Flemington, NJ – in the County Planning Board Conference Room, unless otherwise noted.

January 19th
AGENDA | MINUTES

March 21st
AGENDA | MINUTES

May 16th
AGENDA | MINUTES

July 18th
AGENDA | MINUTES

September 19th
AGENDA | MINUTES
November 21st
AGENDA | MINUTES

 

2015 AGENDAS & MINUTES:

January 20th
AGENDA | MINUTES

March 16th
AGENDA | MINUTES

May 18th
AGENDA | MINUTES

July 20th
AGENDA | MINUTES

September 21st
AGENDA | MINTUES
November 16th
AGENDA | MINUTES

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RELATED LINKS & RESOURCES:

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