Iron Miners
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 Post subject: Iron Mining land being purchased by the town
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:33 pm
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Location: Above the Sterling Hill Mine ... nmr&coll=1

Jury raises price of tract by $31,000
Friday, November 04, 2005

ROXBURY: A Morris County jury yesterday decided the township should pay $716,000 for 75 acres it acquired through eminent domain, far less than the $1.9 million the previous owner argued it was worth.

The township will have to come up with $31,000 more than the $685,000 it set aside for the 1999 purchase.

At trial, the township argued the property off Orben Drive and abutting Lake Rogerine was worth $224,000.

Township Attorney Anthony Bucco said there was a time when experts for the township believed the land to be worth $685,000, but the appraisal was subsequently lowered because abandoned iron mines -- one on the tract and one next to it -- would have greatly limited development potential.

The eight-member jury's task was to determine what the fair market value was in September 1999 when the township acquired it for preservation.

Anthony Della Pelle, the attorney for the Anthony Pio Costa trust, said he would meet with his clients to decide whether to appeal. Robin and Michael Lahue, who control the trust, own other property along Lake Rogerene in Mount Arlington that has been developed. They declined comment after the verdict.

One of the jurors complimented attorneys for both sides for providing ample information for jurors to come up with a price. They asked for a calculator and a ruler to use during their 3 1/2 hours of deliberation.

"It's a very difficult process for the jurors," Bucco said.

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