Moorestown council authorized the purchase of a portion of Flying Feather Farm for preserved open space of approximately 12 acres at its May 9 meeting, a project that has been in the works for some time.
“We think this is a good thing for the town,” said Mayor Nicole Gillespie.
Council adopted two ordinances related to the matter: The first authorizes funding of $998,000 and issuance of $948,100 in township bonds or notes to acquire a portion of 621 Garwood Road, and the second authorizes the actual acquisition of that portion, commonly known as Flying Feather Farm.
The amount of the bond ordinance is slightly more than the contract purchase price to allow for costs incurred with the financing.
“I remember this acquisition as a target when I was first on the open-space committee a few years ago, and I’m just happy that it came to fruition, as I’m sure most members of open space are,” said Councilman Jake Van Dyken.
“I think the township should be pretty happy that we’re preserving a real(ly) good-size lot toward the center of town. I’m really happy to see this.”
Barbara Rich, co-founder of Save the Environment of Moorestown (STEM), praised council’s efforts in adopting both ordinances.
“It’s been a long time since open space has been preserved in the township … It’s a bright accomplishment, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” she said.
Councilman David Zipin addressed the township’s ability to preserve open space at a time when commercial development is thriving.
“It is not without saying that the open-space (committee) has been working on this for a long time,” he said. “Not to be overlooked, (but) when you think about what the real estate market looks like in this environment, the fact that we’ve been able to save land from development is remarkable.”
Earlier in the council meeting, Gillespie addressed three proclamations on the agenda: Stop Food Waste Day, Arbor Day and Citizen of the Year Day. The last honors John and Kathy Logue, the 2022 Citizens of the Year.
Township Manager Kevin Aberant then presented his report, first focusing on promotions in the police department. He also offered an update on Percheron Park and explained that having the electric work done there and getting a sandstone cap engraved with the names of park donors and paid for by The Friends of Percheron Park will take longer to complete.
“ … We did do an amendment … (that) contemplated that everything would be completed by May 31,” Aberant explained. “The park will not be 100-percent complete by May 31.”
“I think it’s supposed to be substantially complete by May 31,” he added. “I think we will be at that substantial completion point.”