Friday, October 19, 2007

County farmland preservation update

For Immediate Release:

October 18, 2007

Holmdel nursery is Monmouth County’s newest addition to Farmland Preservation Program

HOLMDEL – Monmouth County Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry announced today that the F&F Nurseries property on Roberts Road is the latest entry into the Farmland Preservation Program through a partnership effort among Holmdel Township, Monmouth County and the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC).

“Each piece of land we preserve helps protect the quality of life in Monmouth County, now and in the future,” Freeholder Burry said. “We’re proud that 20 percent of all of Monmouth County’s land is permanently preserved and we are committed to continuing to build on that record of success through many more cooperative efforts such as this one.”

The F&F Nurseries site is owned by Holmdel Township, which purchased the property in January 2005. Earlier this week, the township sold the development rights to Monmouth County to preserve 60 acres under the Farmland Preservation Program. The SADC provided cost-sharing assistance under its Planning Incentive Grant program.

“Municipalities have much at stake in the race to preserve farmland, not only in protecting their agricultural land base, but by preventing further development and the negative tax impacts that go along with it,” said Susan E. Craft, executive director of the SADC, which administers the state Farmland Preservation Program. “We applaud Holmdel for taking the lead in purchasing this property for preservation and we are pleased to be a partner in helping to ensure this land will continue to contribute to the quality of life and agriculture of Monmouth County for generations to come.”

“F&F Nurseries is a wonderful addition to our farmland preservation program,” Holmdel Mayor Serena DiMaso said. “Its central location will ensure that future generations will forever enjoy the history of Holmdel. We thank SADC and the County, along with the other funding agencies for helping to make this purchase and preservation of open space a reality.”

Holmdel purchased the F&F Nursery property from F&F Nurseries Inc., which continues to operate the nursery through a leasing arrangement with the township. Holmdel is preserving another 25 acres of the property along the stream corridor under the Green Acres Program and will retain approximately six additional acres for municipal purposes.

F&F Nurseries is a wholesale grower of flowering trees, shade trees, evergreens and shrubs. John H. Flemer, president of F&F Nurseries Inc., said his family’s roots in the nursery business date back to 1882 when his great-grandfather first established a nursery operation with a partner in Roselle. His father, Albert Flemer Sr., purchased the Holmdel property in 1954.

F&F Nurseries, now under the leadership of Flemer and his brother, Albert B. Flemer Jr., who is vice president, has operated at the Holmdel site since 1954 and also has a location in Marlboro.

“Our father would have been pleased to know that the farmland he purchased more than 50 years ago is being preserved and will remain a farm forever,” Flemer said.

A total of 132 farms covering 10,740 acres have been preserved in Monmouth County.

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