Hamilton must pay interest as the original purchase agreement states, according to preliminary findings by Judge Linda R. Feinberg. Hamilton Township was to begin paying interest Sept. 1 on the $4.1 million they agreed to pay Fieldstone Developers to buy back land the township sold to them for $375,000 four years ago. Feildstone filed a motion to force the town to begin to pay the interest as agreed to in the June purchase agreement. The interest is a little over $27,000 a month.
The money is interest in addition to the purchase price, so the cost is currently $4,145,556.00 and counting.
The judge suggested that the interest may be able to be counted as part of the price, but that is yet to be seen. She was careful to point out that the case is not settled and the terms could still change. However, "If in fact the township did not exercise as much due diligence as it should have, maybe Fieldstone should have the benefit of that (8 percent) interest going forward," Judge Feinberg is quoted in the Times.
Township Attorney Paul Adezio had requested to waive the interest payments because of the delay in closing the deal, caused by the state Department of Environmental Protection's request for a wetlands delineation survey. The survey should have been done a long time ago and at the request of the Township, and that is at the heart of the matter. As of now, however, Hamilton has to pay what they agreed to pay. Tough luck, that, being held to your legal agreements.
Let us not forget that this is an election year in Hamilton Township, so the candidates are all up in arms about this. "I don't think it's a big issue. A lot of the people I talk to don't think that much about it. It's important, but is it as important as the safety of their kids or the schools? I don't think so."said Councilman Wayne DeAngelo, who is up for re-election this year. I wonder who he talks to who doesn't care much?
(Previous posts about Hamilton's Klockner Woods:DEP agrees to investigate, Deal posponed, Council attacked, Eminent domain?, Survey requested, Fieldstone may have known, Study Delay, Lawsuit )