Introduced: August 11, 2014
Public Hearing: August 25, 2014
Status: Failed

An ordinance to prohibit the purchase of “Camp Sussex” using open space funds and require all open space and farmland preservation purchases to be voted on by Vernon voters

Summary: An ordinance initiated by petition signed by a sufficient number of registered voters to prohibit the acquisition of Camp Sussex using the Vernon Township’s Farmland Preservation and Open Space Trust Fund and requiring that all acquisitions for farmland preservation and open space be decided by a public vote.

WHEREAS, Vernon Township Ordinance #00-16, an ordinance authorizing the collection of a tax of two (2) cents per one hundred (100) dollars of assessed value, to be dedicated to farmland preservation and to the preservation of open space, said tax to be collected for a period of five (5) years beginning in the year 2001, was adopted by the Vernon Council on August 14, 2000.

WHEREAS, on the November 7, 2000 General Election Ballot, VERNON MUNICIPAL QUESTION NO. 1 to create a FARMLAND PRESERVATION AND OPEN SPACE TRUST FUND, was approved by the voters.

WHEREAS, the combined accounts for the OPEN SPACE FUNDS of VERNON Township, as of, May 30, 2014, show a sum of approximately one million (1,000,000) dollars.

WHEREAS, Vernon’s Mayor was authorized by a 3-2 vote at the June 9, 2014 Vernon Council meeting to negotiate a purchase for the acquisition of “Camp Sussex” using OPEN SPACE FUNDS.

WHEREAS, no adequate information, investigation, environmental study, plan for the use of the land, cost estimates for demolition of the buildings, cost estimates for potential environmental remediation, cost estimates for improvements or long term maintenance and operating costs have been done.

WHEREAS, the voters of Vernon object to the use of Vernon’s OPEN SPACE FUNDS for the purchase or development of “Camp Sussex.”

WHEREAS, the voters of Vernon object to the use of Vernon’s OPEN SPACE FUNDS for land purchases or farmland preservation without a public vote.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, New Jersey, they being the Governing Body, thereof, as follows:

Section 1. Vernon’s OPEN SPACE FUNDS will not be used for the acquisition, development or maintenance of “Camp Sussex” - Block 81 Lot 1 L 1.15, Block 82 Lot 8 L8-01.

Section 2. All acquisitions for OPEN SPACE and FARMLAND PRESERVATION in Vernon will be decided by a public vote of Vernon voters.

Section 3. All ordinances of the Township of Vernon which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of each inconsistency.

Section 4. This Ordinance shall take effect at the time and manner provided by law.