ANDOVER BOROUGH, NJ – In its attempt to preserve the Francesco Farm, Andover Borough Council is considering its options for ownership of a portion of the land, and access to the property.
The 285-acre horse farm is being preserved through funding from the state Green Acres program, Sussex County, and the Trust for Public Land. It was the subject of years of battling against a massive residential development that would have drastically increased the population of the tiny borough.
Josh Greenfield, the attorney for the farm's owners, said the owner will keep 20 acres, including all buildings. The owner suggested the township purchase a lot on the side of the property with the house.
At the council meeting on Monday, Dec. 10, Mayor John Morgan said the property has frontage of Brighton Road and Prospect Street, and the borough property would need access. He asked the council to “take the map home and play with it.”
They will discuss the matter at the Wednesday, Dec. 19, end-of-year meeting.
Councilwoman Lynn Delfing said she did a walk-through of the horse barns, and suggested the fire department see the facility and possibly do a training there.
Councilman Pete Pearson noted there was a horse barn fire in Lafayette last year in which 20 horses died.
In other business, council discussed the easement for improvement of the Morris Sussex Turnpike.
Morgan said the right-of-way is listed as 22-feet wide but the road width is about 16 feet. He said the borough does not want to make it a thoroughfare. Trucks cannot use the road because of the small railroad tunnel, but council wants to keep all traffic from speeding.
A $200,000 grant is paying for the work which will include rip rap running from the tunnel about 300 feet down the hill, Morgan said.
Council was pleased to hear the report from Jim Landreth, the borough represented to the county Solid Waste Advisory Council.
He reported the county found an alternative to establishing a transfer station at the landfill and trucking solid waste to another facility. They can construct a retaining wall and pile the garbage higher.
"They will have to amend their plan,” Landreth said, and “not increase the footprint and not encroach on the environmentally sensitive area.”
The landfill would only take in-county garbage and have about 30 more years life.
Pearson pointed out there will be development in the county sometime over those 30 years.
Landreth said they will continue “to pursue high teck ways to keep stuff out.” He said Section One has been capped and may eventually hold solar panels. The landfill now leases property to a concern that converts methane gas into energy. As the methane ages, the BTUs go up so the county can charge more for the gas.
Council also discussed an ordinance contracting for gas in the business district.
Elizabethtown Gas put lines in the streets some time ago but never made connections. “The businesses would like to have gas available,” Morgan said.
On more routine matters, council approved a new member application for a fireman, Brent Tardell, who has been a fireman in West Paterson.
Council also reappointed the engineering firm Harold Pellow and Associates township engineers for another two-year term.
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