Bill to use open space funds for flood-prone area acquisitions clears panel

TRENTON – A measure to help deal with flood-prone areas cleared the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee today. It passed unanimously.

The bill, A4267 – sponsored by Assembly members Connie Wagner, (D-38), Paramus, and Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus – would allow counties and municipalities to utilize open space trust funds to purchase such flood-prone properties, otherwise known as “Blue Acres projects.”

Under current law, counties and towns are allowed to establish open space historic preservation trust funds. This bill would expand this authorization to specifically include “Blue Acres projects.”

Under this bill, that would include lands that have been damaged, or may be prone to  damage, by storms or flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage.

The bill would allow for the demolition of structures, the removal of debris, and the restoration of those lands to a natural state.

Numerous supporters included N.J. League of Municipalities, N.J. Association of Counties, N.J. Sierra Club, and the N.J. Farm Bureau.

Bill to use open space funds for flood-prone area acquisitions clears panel