BRIDGEWATER, NJ - With the culmination of more than a year of negotiations, the township has introduced an ordinance to approve the purchase of Camp Cromwell, currently owned by The Boys Club of New York.

The property is 100.42 acres of open space and recreation on Vosseller Avenue, near the intersection with Gilbride Road, on the north slope of the First Watchung Ridge.

The Boys Club has owned the property since 1985.

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“This is a result of a year plus of negotiation with the Boys Club,” Mayor Dan Hayes said. “It represents the best outcome for our township in that the township will maintain full control and ownership so we will be able to determine the best use of the property.”

The cost of the purchase is $7.5 million, and $6.5 million of that is being paid for by the Somerset County Improvement Authority. The remaining $1.5 million is being paid for from the township’s Open Space Trust Fund.

Hayes said he is working with resident committees and staff to make the best use of the facilities.
“We are one step closer to taking the property into permanent preservation, and this is a major accomplishment for our residents in putting a significant chunk into our open space allocation,” he said.

Council president Allen Kurdyla said the preservation of the Camp Cromwell property has been on the township’s radar for years.

“I think any governing body that can say they have closed a deal on a 100-acre panel, that is a significant statement to make,” he said. “It speaks accolades for the county too.”

Councilman Filipe Pedroso agreed.

“Not only are we acquiring the property, the county is contributing $6 million of that, it’s a tremendous amount of money,” he said. “This is a fantastic deal for Bridgewater.”

“With 100 acres being preserved for residents for years to come, the future for this property holds tremendous potential,” he added.

Public hearing on the ordinance for the purchase will be held March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.