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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2003

Contact: Jack Kaskey
609-984-1795

Centenary College Withdraws Request for Hackettstown Property
Sept. 30 Hearing Cancelled

(03/132) TRENTON -The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is canceling its final public hearing on a proposed sale of land in Hackettstown to Centenary College, because the college today officially withdrew its application to purchase the property.

Centenary previously had asked the DEP to consider selling up to 42 acres of the department's Hackettstown fish hatchery for use as college athletic fields. Public comment has been overwhelmingly against the sale, and the New Jersey Fish and Game Council voted unanimously last week not to support the sale.

"The college's wise decision to withdraw its application reflects appropriate consideration for the concerns of Hackettstown residents regarding traffic and access issues and acknowledges the importance of preserving this historic hatchery," said Joanna Dunn Samson, DEP deputy commissioner.

"In addition to strong public opposition, the Fish and Game Council had a number of serious environmental concerns about the proposed use, including potential affects to operations of the Hackettstown fish hatchery. It also made no sense to sell the only land the hatchery had for future expansion," said Scott Ellis, chairman of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council. "This is good news not just for the surrounding community, but also for New Jersey anglers."

The third and final public hearing on the proposed sale had been scheduled for Sept. 30. That hearing is cancelled.

 

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