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Bills Provide $55M+ for Farmland Preservation In N.J.

(3rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Legislation Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli and Celeste Riley sponsored to preserve farmland throughout Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland counties was signed into law on Wednesday.
The laws provide though the voter-approved funding:
· About $23.6 million to the State Agriculture Development Committee for farmland preservation purposes (A-4059);
· $23 million for planning incentive grants to municipalities for farmland preservation purposes (A-4061); and
· $8.831 million for grants to nonprofit organizations for farmland preservation purposes.
“Farming and tourism are the engines that drive this region’s economy, and if we’re to maintain the pristine farmland and clean environment vital to this region, we need efforts like this that make good economic and environmental sense,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “The voters know we need to support farmland preservation for the benefit of our communities, which is why we’re pleased to have backed this effort and see it become law. The projects undertaken by our bills will benefit this region for generations.”
“This region relies on its farming heritage for jobs and economic growth, which is why preserving this farmland and the tourism and commerce it brings is so important,” said Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “We share the commitment to farmland preservation as a way to protect our agricultural heritage and drive our economy. These bills will benefit our communities in so many ways for so many years.”
Municipalities to receive planning grants include:
· $750,000 for Upper Deerfield Township in Cumberland County;
· $750,000 for Elk Township in Gloucester County;
· $500,000 for Franklin Township in Gloucester County;
· $500,000 for Woolwich Township in Gloucester County;
· $500,000 for Alloway Township n Salem County;
· $500,000 for Pilesgrove Township in Salem County;
· $500,000 for Pittsgrove Township in Salem County;
· $500,000 for Upper Pittsgrove Township in Salem County;
Nonprofits to receive funding under the legislation include:
· $1.943 million for the D&R Greenway Land Trust for farmland preservation efforts in Mannington and Pilesgrove in Salem County; and
· $2.55 million for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation for farmland preservation efforts in Woolwich in Gloucester and Pilesgrove, Quinton and Upper Pittsgrove in Salem County.