Commissioners Vote on Bancroft Purchase Letter
Haddonfield commissioners unanimously approved a letter of intent to buy the sought-after property.
The Haddonfield Board of Commissioners approved a letter of intent to support a public purchase of the Bancroft property on Kings Highway East on Monday.
The vote occurred at an action meeting at the Municipal Hall. A complete agenda for the meeting is attached to this article.
Officials stressed that this is just the first step in sealing the deal. The borough school board is set to vote on the letter of intent on July 31. The most important vote will be a public referendum in January on the entire $16.8 million proposal, officials say.
BOE and borough officials argue that having the Bancroft property publicly owned is key to preserving open space, and allowing for school and recreational fields expansion. They also argue that this may be the last parcel of its size for large-scale development for the public good in this nearly built-out town.
Some residents expressed concern about rising taxes for the purchase at the first of three Bancroft purchase meetings last week. Others raised concerns about $2 million of the $16.8 million purchase and development cost going to install two artificial turf fields at the high school.
At a commissioners' work session that started at 3 p.m. today, the commissioners agreed to approve the letter of intent. Commissioner Ed Borden reasoned that the letter of intent does not include specifics about the turf purchase and an approval tonight is not necessarily an endorsement for the turf. A formal approval will come in tonight's action session.
Commissioners action meetings are usually held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and work sessions on the first and third Monday. The commissioners have an abbreviated summer schedule of one work session and action meeting in July and August.