The state DEP is going to investigate (finally) the purchase of Klockner Woods in Hamilton Twp., here in Central Jersey.
In 2001, Fieldstone Associates, a developer, bought the Klockner Woods property in Hamilton for $375,000. Much of the property is wetlands and many developers had passed on the deal already. In 2004, an appraisal of the land was done, finding 27 suitable home sites and valued the property between $1.25 and $1.34 million. So to preserve it for open space, how much is Hamilton buying it back for?
$4.1 million. Based on 41 (not 27) homesites worth $100,000 each. Really.
Oh, most of that will be funded by Our Fair State, with Mercer County kicking in $300,000, and there is hope that a few nonprofits will kick in as well. Hamilton didn't go the "Eminent domain" route; so, they avoided spending a few grand on court battle that they probably would have won. Huh?
Of course, one of the principals in Fieldstone kicked in over $2000 to Mayor Glen Gilmore's reelection campaign. But you already suspected that, right? The Times of Trenton also reported that Fieldstone's attorney stated that Gilmore promised to build a large apartment development if the developer would wait until after the election to submit the plan. Gilmore denies this.
This is insanity. Pure and simple, we're all being ripped off here, even we who don't live in Hamilton.