Open Space Trust Fund Program
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.