UPPER FREEHOLD – This large municipality has made history of sorts by going over the 10,000-acres mark in the amount of property it will see preserved.
Mayor Lori Mount said Monday it was a special day, knowing that her 47-square-mile municipality will have more land in its preserved parcels itinerary.
“Generations will enjoy what this community has to offer,” she said.
Even Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry said, “I’m jealous of all the land you have.”
In a state known for being built out and congested, Upper Freehold Township offers expansive open space that residents have come to expect, according to Mount.
“People don’t blink an eye,” she said. “They see the value of preserving land.”
With the property acquisition announced Monday by the Department of Environmental Protection, some 893 additional acres will be preserved within Upper Freehold’s borders. In addition to funds from other entities, Upper Freehold will contribute approximately $1.2 million.
She said it’s “a fine balance” between adding ratables and preserving property to prevent development of subdivisions.
However, she said it’s important to see what additional services a town has to provide to maintain the ratables chase.
“It’s well worth the trade-off,” she said.