Mine Hill closer to the $800K for open space

Date Published: 
Fri, 09/25/2009

MINE HILL TWP. – Township officials could be nearer to obtaining $800,000 the government failed to pony up as part of open space acquisition money two years ago.

The township purchased the 200-acre Dickerson Mine tract on Canfield Avenue for $12.4 million in June 2007. Of that amount, $3.8 million was to have come from the federal government through the state’s Green Acres program. But only $3 million was issued, forcing officials in July to issue $800,000 in short-term bonds to complete the deal.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Mayor Richard Leary said Trenton could soon be forking over the remaining dollars.

He said a Sept. 3 letter to grant consultant John Bruno from Green Acres Deputy Administrator Gary Rice indicated that payment was “contingent” on approval by the state’s Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC).

That approval, however, may not come for a while. In his letter, Rice informs Bruno that, “As of the date of this letter we do not know when the next JBOC meeting will be scheduled. As this is an election year and the legislature is on summer recess, my best estimate will be after November.”

All the same, Leary remained upbeat at last Thursday’s council meeting, telling members they were “in the best position we’ve been in to date for the $800,000.”

The Canfield Avenue tract purchase was the largest open space buy in the township.

The money used for the purchase was a combination of federal, state, county and local funds, with Mine Hill contributing $50,000.

When $800,000 from a federal Forest Registry Grant filed to come through in time, officials made up that missing portion with the bond.

Meanwhile, the Council last Thursday approved resolutions to award contracts totaling $234,800 for various road improvement projects.

The projects, to be performed by Pave King of Roxbury, include reconstructing Florence Lane for $133,800; $40,00 for paving and drainage improvements on Colligan Lane, and $21,000 for paving Oakwood Avenue. Also approved was $30,000 in engineering costs for the three roads, and $10,000 for five new speed tables.

The money will come from the $250,000 officials bonded for the projects this summer.

The Randolph Reporter
Mine Hill closer to the $800K for open space
Published: Sep 25th 2009