N.J. Town Fights State’s Eminent Domain Landfill Seizure

N.J. Town Fights State’s Eminent Domain Landfill Seizure

A fight has playing out between the town of Kearny and the state of New Jersey over the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's (NJSEA) apparent plan to seize the Keegan Landfill through eminent domain.

NJ.com has the latest details:

The NJSEA approved a measure last week to begin condemnation proceedings for the 100-acre landfill, which it has leased from the town through the now-defunct New Jersey Meadowlands Commission since 2005. The NJSEA absorbed the operations of the NJMC last year.

Now, Kearny officials are vowing to wage a court battle for control of the landfill, which the town hopes to convert into recreational uses.

Calling the NJSEA's intent to condemn the property "an abuse of power," Kearny Mayor Al Santos has charged that the state agency would fold without the tipping fees it collects from the landfill.

"It is deeply troubling that a government entity is using eminent domain to keep themselves afloat," Santos said. "In essence, they're looking to take the Keegan to fund a garbage disposal operation. The merger last year was meant to create efficiencies, not support the sports authority."

The fight has been brewing for a while. The state agency made the move to seize the land via eminent domain about two weeks ago. That came about two weeks after the city has issued “an eviction notice of sorts” to the NJSEA.

The fight goes even further back, as well. In September news first came that the town and the NJSEA were sparring over a lease extension and over the proposed height of the landfill. And then in October, Kearny hired an engineering firm and a real estate consultant to assess the Keegan Landfill and determine future uses for the site.

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