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August 19, 2009

RE: Open Space, Water Supply, Farmland and Historic Preservation Question on November Ballot

Dear Mayor:

In addition to candidates for local office, the State Assembly and Governor, public questions will appear on ballots, Statewide.

One of these will ask voters to approve the “GREEN ACRES, WATER SUPPLY, FLOODPLAIN PROTECTION, AND FARMLAND AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOND ACT OF 2009,” which authorizes the state to issue $400 million in bonds to fund New Jersey’s preservation programs.

The Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT), the financing authority for the Green Acres, Farmland Preservation, and Historic Preservation programs, is virtually depleted despite the continued need for the programs it makes possible.

The ballot question would be the third of its kind in 11 years.
In 1998, voters approved the creation of the Garden State Preservation Trust, dedicating $98 million annually for 30 years to land acquisition and history-based projects. The funding for purchases would expire in 2010. For each of the next 20 years, debt would be paid off in annual $98 million installments.
In 2007, the next bond-issue question, which called for a bond issuance of $200 million, won approval.
In June, legislation putting the latest question on this year’s ballot passed the Assembly, 66-9. The Senate approved the question, 26-7. Governor Corzine signed the bill, which was co-sponsored and supported by both Republicans and Democrats in both Houses, yesterday.

If approved by the voters, $218 million would be spent on the Green Acres program, $146 would be spent on farmland preservation, $24 million would be spent on Blue Acres preservation, and $12 million would be used for historic preservation purposes.

For more information, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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