With unanimous approval from Town Council and two hearty rounds of applause, a vote Monday ensured that the Browning-Hess Farm will be preserved from development.
Town Council voted to kick in 20 percent of the preservation costs, a figure Burlington County requested. The county will pick up the remaining 80 percent.
All told, Moorestown will pay $467,310 to preserve the 42-acre working farm on Lenola Road.
Residents reacted with enthusiastic approval to the move.
“This is one of the prize acquisitions of this township,” said Barbara Rich, Environmental Advisory Committee member and liaison to the Open Space Committee. “The county is to be commended for putting forth their agreement because we are not in the farm belt of the county program. But they realized the value of this historic farm.”
Mayor John Button concurred, calling the move “awesome.”
“To keep it just as it is, is incredible,” Button said.
The resolution approving the spending is one of the final steps in the preservation process before the deal is finalized.
The preservation agreement keeps the land as a working farm. The Browning-Hess Farm has a , and is the oldest working farm in the township. Four generations and counting of the Browning-Hess family have farmed the land.
Earlier, after the family had reached a deal with the county, David Hess, who owns and operates the farm with wife Debbie and his children, grandchildren and mother-in-law, said the family was “very excited and thrilled” by the preservation. The deal means the family will continue its legacy.
“That has been our dream,” he said.