The Middle Township Committee has announced that it will receive $140,000 in payments from local businesses Albrecht & Heun, Inc. and Future Mining, Inc., for past due Host Community Benefit fees owed by the companies to the municipality for the operation of a recycling facility on Goshen Road. This brings to an end litigation which was instituted by a neighboring property owner in May 2007, as well as an action brought by the Township against the companies for the recovery of those fees.
Although the lawsuit was instituted in the Superior Court, Cape May County, the matter was referred to a special master, retired Appellate Division Judge George Seltzer, for his findings and recommendations to the Court. Although Judge Seltzer originally recommended a payment of $35,018 from Future Mining to Middle Township in July 2010, he subsequently changed that recommendation in September 2010 to $288,478.
Future Mining and Albrecht & Heun rejected the larger recommendation, and the matter returned to the Superior Court for further litigation.
Following discussions between the parties, however, it was agreed that Future Mining and Albrecht and Heun would pay $140,000 over a period of time. Future Mining and Albrecht & Heun will also forgive a $35,000 credit owed for the sale of certain land which is now part of the Township’s Goshen Sports Complex. “This settlement ends the likelihood of a couple more years of litigation and substantial costs and expenses to the taxpayers to pursue this claim”, said Mayor Susan DeLanzo. “The settlement requires annual payments to the Township, and relieves the residents of the obligation to both pay for the land bought, and eliminates the uncertainties always associated with litigation, particularly when the claims for these monies date back to 1995”, said Committeeman Dan Lockwood.
The Township Committee approved the settlement at its meeting on March 23rd, 2011. Payments are to begin June 1, 2011 in the amount of $20,000, with the second payment due on or before December 31, 2011 also in the amount of $20,000. Thereafter, the companies will pay the Township $20,000 per year for the next five (5) years.