FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Nalbone
Office of Communications & Public Information
(609) 918-0002. Ext. 129
TOWNSHIP VOTERS APPROVE OPEN SPACE REFERENDUM BY OVERWHELMING MARGIN
(CLICK HERE FOR ALL LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS)
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (November 8, 2016) – Robbinsville Township residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of ballot Question #3 to increase the Open Space Tax levy by 1.5 cents for every $100 of assessed value in order to help purchase and preserve two key parcels encompassing more than 400 acres.
The winning margin, including provisional ballots, was 4,609 to 2,457. Voter turnout was 81 percent, according to Mercer County Clerk figures.
One of those properties is Edinburg Village, a 225 acre property currently owned by “Washington Woods LLC” that has been on the Township Open Space Map since 2008. It is targeted for condemnation. The land owners and the Township are currently negotiating a purchase price before the proceedings return to NJ Superior Court Judge Paul Innes.
“Raising taxes is never something I take lightly, and I would not have enlisted the support of Township Council if we did not think this was absolutely the right thing to do for our town,’’ Mayor Fried said.
“I am very confident this will save our taxpayers money down the road by decreasing the number of students expected to attend our schools over the next 5-10 years. Our three schools are at or near capacity, so another large influx of students into our school system and more vehicles on our roads will send us down an unsustainable path. I want to thank the residents and businesses of Robbinsville for their overwhelming support for this referendum.”
Preservation of the Edinburg Village property takes on added significance due to its location. It is adjacent to one of Mercer County’s agriculture project areas and is part of a swath of preserved farmland at the intersection of Robbinsville and West Windsor townships. It is adjacent to land preserved by West Windsor to the west and across the street from a 153-acre farm preserved by Robbinsville. For those reasons, Mercer County has pledged the Township $2 million to help with the purchase.
“The County is pleased to be able to partner with Robbinsville to accomplish the preservation of this property,’’ County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “It is our hope that farming will continue and that valuable bike and pedestrian connections be made to nearby neighborhoods and schools.”
The other property on Mayor Dave Fried’s preservation wish list is the 189 acres that once was the Miry Run Golf course, which currently is not zoned for housing but could be rezoned to accommodate housing in the future.
Since taking office in 2007, Mayor Fried has preserved over 600 acres as open space – with 400 more Open Space acres planned - and has built both Tantum Park and Foxmoor Community Park.
In the Robbinsville Board of Education election, Thomas Halm (2,913), Matthew T. O'Grady (2,998) and Jane Luciano-Barker (2,848) secured seats.