Three Blue Acres bills advance

The Assembly Appropriations Committee on Monday approved three bills (A-3368/3369/3370) appropriating more than $123 million to help preserve open space and acquire properties that are prone to flooding throughout the state.

Appropriations Committee Chair John Burzichelli underscored the importance of the funding in the wake of the massive flood damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

“As the most densely populated state in the nation, preserving open space is always one of our key goals, but in the aftermath of Sandy, providing funding to buy up properties that are prone to flooding and damage is paramount right now. 

“The Blue Acres program was designed to help alleviate repeated nightmares for home and business owners located in flood-prone areas.  This program allows them to willingly sell their homes to the state, which is crucial.  Properties that are repeatedly prone to flooding are nearly impossible to sell, nor do we want new owners to come in and subject themselves to costly, reoccurring damage.”