[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Council) of the Township of Dover (now Toms River) 12-26-2000 by Ord. No. 3576-00. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a reserve in the General Trust Fund which shall be noted and designated as the "Open Space Trust Fund." A separate bank account shall be established and maintained entitled "Township of Toms River Open Space Trust Account" As authorized by ordinance, funds from the Open Space Trust Fund may be utilized to acquire all types of interests in real property, including, not by way of limitation, fee simple acquisitions, easements, development rights, or any other lesser interest in real estate which will further the goal of property acquisitions for conservation, farmland preservation, recreation and open spaces. The Township shall have the option of funding property acquisitions with funds solely from the Open Space Trust Fund or by apportioning the cost thereof by charging the Open Space Trust Fund for a portion thereof. It is understood that acquisitions may occur via gift, purchase or by eminent domain. In addition, the Township may authorize the disbursement of monies from the Open Space Trust Fund to assist the County of Ocean or the State of New Jersey or any political subdivision thereof in acquiring interests in real property located within the Township of Toms River for the purposes stated herein, provided that, in the event such interests are sold, the net proceeds of such disposition will be paid to the Township's Open Space Trust Fund in the same proportion that the Township's contribution bore to the original acquisition price.
Beginning in 2001, a special tax rate shall be added to the total Township tax rate in the amount of $0.01.5 per $100 of the annual assessment valuations and tax rate, the revenue of which shall be deposited into the Open Space Trust Fund. The Township may, in it discretion, deposit additional municipal monies into the Open Space Trust Fund, which deposits shall then be subject to all of the provisions governing the Open Space Trust Fund. The Open Space Trust Fund shall also be authorized to accept donations and testamentary bequests.
[Amended 12-14-2010 by Ord. No. 4300-10]
Permitted uses. In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:12-15.7, the funds accumulated within the Open Space Trust Fund shall be expended for any or all of the following purposes, or any combination thereof, as determined by the governing body:
Acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes.
Development of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes.
Maintenance of lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes.
Acquisition of land for farmland preservation purposes.
Appraisal fees, title fees, professional fees and other legally permissible expenses associated with the acquisition of land for recreation and conservation or farmland preservation purposes.
Historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas or objects, and the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas or objects for historic preservation purposes.
Payment of debt service on indebtedness issued or incurred for any of the purposes set forth in the preceding subsections.
Cap on funds appropriated for maintenance. The amount of funds annually appropriated for maintenance as permitted in Subsection A(3) shall be limited to the lesser of 40% of the annual amount collected or $1,000,000.
Interest. Any and all interest or gain accruing upon the monies accumulated in the Open Space Trust Fund shall remain therein and may be utilized for any of the purposes set forth in the preceding subsection.
The land acquired under the Open Space Trust Fund shall be utilized for all categories of open space, including parks, recreation areas, natural areas and such other uses consistent with the concept of open space.
No real property or interest therein, acquired with funds from the Open Space Trust Fund, shall be sold, conveyed, leased or otherwise alienated unless it is needed for another public use or otherwise furthers the purposes of the Trust.