Open space funding could be a long shot

Date Published: 
Wed, 08/25/2010

Mine Hill is one of several applicants this year that is requesting funding from The Morris County Preservation Trust Fund.

This money is needed, town officials say, to prevent builders from erecting condominiums on an historic plot of land.

Mine Hill is asking for $1.25 million from the county to purchase 46.7 acres of land, owned by the Canfield Building Associates, located off Canfield Avenue, at the borderline of Randolph and Mine Hill.

Historically, the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund receives more requests for funding than it can afford and is challenged to pick programs warranting its support. With only $15 million to spend, the county reports it has received applications for 21 projects with a combined value of $23.6 million.

The Mine Hill Canfield Property Open Space Project is estimated to cost nearly $5 million.

Aside from requesting funds from the county, Mine Hill is attempting to acquire additional support from other agencies, such as New Jersey’s Green Acres Program, a state organization that was part of a financial package that allowed Mine Hill to purchase 200 acres known as the Dickerson Mine preserve.

Winners of this year’s county funding will be announced later this year.

Bike paths

In other news, Mine Hill’s municipal council approved a resolution to apply for a $15,100 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation State Aid Program to be used for the construction of biking paths and hiking trails in the Dickerson Mine preserve and the removal of hazardous trees and brush along them.

Last month, Mine Hill’s governing body formalized a partnership with the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (JORBA), a volunteer organization dedicated to developing trails for cyclists and hikers.

According to Richard E. Leary, Mine Hill’s mayor, JORBA and the township are in the planning phase of their relationship, and though he had hoped that a bike trail would be available this summer, it most likely won’t happen until next summer.

BY DAVID JIMENEZ
Neighbor News (Dover Edition)
STAFF WRITER