Thursday, March 06, 2014

Solberg-Hunterdon Airport (N51), Readington, New Jersey

Trial on remaining issues in Solberg Airport condemnation suit put off for one week

READINGTON TWP. — A trial to sort out the last remaining issues in the Solberg Airport condemnation suit that was set to begin on Monday is now set to start on March 17.

In November, Judge Yolanda Ciccone denied the township's request to file a second amended complaint, in which the township wanted to change its lawsuit to allow Readington to buy the 102 acres used for airport operations — and then operate it as a public airport — rather that purchase the development rights only.

Ciccone further lifted a stay on a suit filed by the Solbergs in 2006 against the then-members of the Township Committee, saying that Readington officials have failed to comply with state law and zone for an airport safety zone and re-zone of the existing airport to a conforming use.

The 2006 suit accuses the township, former Mayor Gerry Shamey and elected officials Julia Allen, Frank Gatti, Beatrice Muir and Tom Auriemma with misconduct.

The 2006 suit that may now move forward in the courts claims that Readington taxpayers have been harmed by the "misuse of" township "monies and resources," including the "indiscriminate use of public monies for public relations specialist to further their illegal and unauthorized actions."

Ciccone's ruling was received the day after the Township Committee voted 4-1 to adopt ordinance to allow the township to buy Solberg Airport and convert it to a municipal operation.

At the end of January, a motion to dismiss the suit was granted as it pertained to some aspects of the suit and denied as to others. The township then filed it's answer to the counterclaim on Feb. 14.


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