[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Berlin 11-2-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-20. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning and land use — See Ch. 335.
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 47, Open Space Trust Fund, adopted 3-5-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-01.
There is hereby established an Open Space Trust Fund, which shall be administered by the Borough Council. The Open Space Trust Fund shall be used to finance the acquiring, improving and maintaining of conservation or recreational properties to protect the water quality of Borough's rivers, lakes, and streams, acquiring farmland for farmland preservation, acquiring open space to preserve it in its natural state, or for the payment of debt service incurred by the Borough for these purposes, to be funded at a rate not to exceed $0.02 per $100 of total Borough equalized real property valuation, with all funds subject to an annual, independent audit.
The Borough Council is authorized to use the Open Space Trust Fund to acquire all types of interests in real property, including but not limited to fee simple acquisitions, easements, licenses, and/or development rights or any other lesser interest in real estate in the Borough.
The Borough Council shall determine the amount of funds to be used for each acquisition of rights or property. The Borough Council shall also determine what use may be made of any real property or property rights acquired by use of the Open Space Trust Fund.
The Open Space Trust Fund may also be used to acquire real property that has improvements upon it at the time of acquisition, provided that the Borough Council determines the principal purpose of the acquisition is consistent with the goals expressed herein.
The Open Space Trust Fund shall be established and maintained as a separate account and shall be known and designated as the "Open Space Trust Fund." A separate bank and/or investment account shall be opened and maintained for this purpose. The Borough Council may invest funds in the Open Space Trust Fund as provided in the Borough's Cash Management Plan and Investment Policy. Funds in the Open Space Trust Fund shall be used solely for the purposes set forth in this chapter. Each year, the Open Space Trust Fund account shall be introduced, adopted and included as part of the annual budget approved by the State of New Jersey.
The Open Space Trust Fund shall be funded through the collection of an amount of $0.02 per $100 of assessed valuation of each annual Borough property tax levy commencing with the 2009 tax year and each year thereafter. The Open Space Trust Fund shall also be permitted to accept grants, gifts, donations and testamentary bequests. The funds accumulated within the Open Space Trust Fund may be utilized to acquire all types of interests in real property, including but not limited to fee simple acquisitions, easements, licenses, and/or development rights or any other lesser interest in real estate in the Borough for the purposes as provided in this chapter or as a down payment for the issuance of bonds for the same purpose at the discretion of the Borough Council. Any and all interest accruing shall remain in the Open Space Trust Fund and may be utilized for the above-described purposes.
No property or rights acquired with funds from the Open Space Trust Fund shall be sold or otherwise disposed of by the Borough unless the Borough Council has authorized such disposition after and in accordance with a binding public referendum.
In the event that no property or property rights are acquired under this chapter for a period of five consecutive years, then the Borough Council shall review its activities and issue a report with recommendations and conclusions concerning the future use and disposition of the Open Space Trust Fund. The Open Space Trust Fund may not be closed except in accordance with a binding public referendum.