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Contact: Amy Cradic
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DEP Commissioner Campbell Ends Agreement with Liberty State Park Development Corporation: Announces Vision for Park's Future and Calls for New Public Advisory Committee

(03/61) TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today terminated the Liberty State Park Development Corporation (LSPDC) and announced a new policy directive to further establish Liberty State Park as a premiere, highly accessible urban open space.

"I have shared the public's concern that conflicts between the Corporation and park stewards have hampered progress in achieving our goals for the park," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "While the Corporation has played a useful role, and I applaud the commitment of the Corporation's board members, this change is overdue."

In 1986, the DEP and the Development Corporation entered into an agreement to promote public-private partnerships toward the development of facilities in Liberty State Park, including a marina, Liberty Science Center, Hudson River Walkway, and parking areas. However, in recent years, numerous LSPDC proposals have generated significant controversy among citizens concerned about the park.

Responding to citizen concerns and in light of its future vision for Liberty State Park, the McGreevey Administration has announced a new policy directive that calls for the termination of the LSPDC and the establishment of an expanded public advisory committee to include adequate representation by Jersey City residents, residents statewide, and other park constituencies.

"On numerous occasions the public has voiced their desire to maintain the remaining undeveloped land within Liberty State Park as open space. The state's plan for the park's future will better serve residents' needs for places to recreate and enjoy New Jersey's outdoors," added Commissioner Campbell.

In consultation with the public advisory committee, the DEP will focus on four priorities for Liberty State Park, including: the acceleration of the park's interior restoration; the expansion and improvement of opportunities for active recreation to better serve Jersey City and other local residents; the improvement of transportation for and access to the park, as well as the reduction of parking and transit impacts; and the development of a memorandum of understanding with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra to explore cultural events at the park and non-commercial entertainment.

With the termination of the agreement between the DEP and Development Corporation, all leases and subleases, including that of the marina, parking facilities and the Liberty Science Center and Hall of Technology, will be assigned to the DEP by June 30, 2003.

As a result of its dissolution, the Development Corporation will no longer receive $110,000 a year from funds generated through Liberty State Park's parking fees. All revenues generated through parking fees will now go directly to the State of New Jersey and will be applied toward debt service payments of bonds for park improvements.

In April 2002, Commissioner Campbell issued a Notice of Default to the LSPDC, arising from concerns about mismanagement of park operations and finances. All issues raised under the notice have been resolved.

Working closely with park constituencies, the Department of Environmental Protection has spent more than 25 years since the park's acquisition planning for and building a park infrastructure that is suitable for public recreation, interpretation and education.



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Last Updated: July 14, 2010