The State Agriculture Development
Committee (SADC) has purchased the 48-acre former Bielanski
farm in Hamilton - the third township farm it has purchased
within the past nine months, Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus announced
"Farmland preservation is an important component
of smart growth in communities like Hamilton that
are under a high degree of development pressure," said
Kuperus, who chairs the SADC. "The purchase
of this farm and the pace of our preservation efforts
in the township demonstrate our real commitment to
retaining an overall high quality of life in Hamilton
and a vital agricultural industry in our state."
Hamilton is the eighth largest municipality in
the state with a population of approximately 90,000.
The Bielanski farm is located at Yardville-Allentown
and Merrick roads. It is directly opposite the 100-acre
Samu farm, preserved in 1999, and the 43-acre former
Hunt farm, which was purchased by the SADC for preservation
in July 2001. The SADC purchased the Bielanski farm
for $536,866 from the Bielanski Corp V - a family-owned
corporation that had leased the property to a local
farmer for field crop production.
The announcement was made at the nearby former
Lengyen farm, which was purchased by the SADC in
December 2001 with cost-sharing assistance from Mercer
County and Hamilton.
Kuperus also announced that, as part of the preservation
of the Lengyen farm, the public will be able to access
the Doctors Creek trail corridor that passes through
the farm under an agreement that provides Hamilton
with a public access easement.
A total of nine farms covering 861 acres have been
preserved in Hamilton since the Farmland Preservation
Program's inception in 1983.
To date, 668 farms covering approximately 90,000 acres
have been preserved statewide.