The Wantage Township Committee unanimously approved a contract between the township and H. William Sytsema to farm the Berry Road property for the next 3.5 years.
Committee member Jonathan Morris said the previous farmer was not interested in continuing to plant hay.
Sytsema currently farms behind the pavilion. Mayor Ron Bassani said it is too late in the season to plant hay, but he will plant soybeans this year. And then next year, he will start planting hay for the next three years.
“We’re going to give him, in essence, a 3 1/2-year agreement that allows them to recoup the money consistent with the previous farmer, if it takes three years for him to really recoup the money from planting hay,” Bassani said.
He said they have discussed weed control, chemicals and anything else that may be of concern to residents. “They’re intimate with everything that needs to be done to protect the environment,” Bassani said.
Bassani said Sytsema was open to working with the township, should it decide to encroach on that property.
“We don’t see anything major happening in the next three years, which would be a football field or a lacrosse field at the top of the hill,” Bassani said. “We don’t see that happening in three years. It would be nice if it was.”