[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mantua 12-26-2000 (Ch. 16A of the 1978 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
In April 2000, the Mantua Township Committee voted to place on the November 7, 2000 Election Ballot the following nonbinding public question:
Editor's Note: An additional annual levy of $0.02 per $100 of assessed value of real property was imposed pursuant to Ord. No. O-12-2004, adopted 6-8-2004 (on file in the Township Clerk's office), and subsequent voter approval at an election in November 2004. Approval of the ballot question resulted in a total assessment of $0.03 per $100 of assessed value of real property.
The voters of Mantua Township approved the question by a vote of 3,714 in favor to 1,566 against. As a result of that vote, the Mantua Township Committee took action to place in the 2001 Municipal Budget a line item appropriation of $62,923.
The intent of this chapter is to establish a Farmland Preservation Assistance Trust (FPAT) to encourage retention of farmland and open space by placing into each annual budget an amount equal to $0.01 on the tax rate. This Trust Fund shall be used to encourage landowners to apply for the State and County Farmland Preservation Program and help them gain additional qualification points by allowing them to agree to a lower per acre price (called a bid down) than that established by the state program approved appraiser. Payment shall be limited to those landowners accepted into the State and County Program for Permanent Farmland Preservation.
Each year the Mantua Township Committee shall place in the annual Municipal Budget an amount equal to $0.01 on the tax rate. The amount shall be determined by the Mantua Township Auditor.
The Mantua Township Municipal Finance Officer (MFO) shall establish and maintain a Mantua Township Farmland Preservation Assistance Trust by using the amount placed in the final adopted annual budget to fund this program. The MFO shall make monthly reports to the Township Committee regarding the balance status of this trust.
This Trust Fund shall retain all interest earned for program use.
If this Farmland Preservation Assistance Trust Fund is discontinued for any reason, the unallocated balance shall be transferred to the Mantua Township Open Space Acquisition Trust Fund to be dispersed at the discretion of the Township Committee.
There shall be no money dispensed from this Fund until an amendment to this chapter or a separate ordinance has been established and approved that sets forth the qualifications, procedures, payment formula and pay out method for permanent farmland preservations assistance.