Clapp, Jayne and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Jayne, J.A.D.
[36 NJSuper Page 166] The Township of Neptune, in the County of Monmouth, had acquired title to a group of several vacant lots mainly by means of tax foreclosures. The lots were not needed for public use and the township committee on July 27, 1954 resolved to offer them for sale in congregation to the highest bidder after public advertisement at a minimum price of $40,000. The disposal of the lots was evidently intended to be accomplished pursuant to the authority conferred by N.J.S.A. 40:60-26(a).
The published notice designated August 12, 1954 as the date of the sale, and in addition to other pertinent information it exhibited the following conditions and specifications:
"1. Fifty per cent (50%) of the purchase money in excess of the $40,000.00 deposit to be paid at the time the lands and premises are struck off. If the money is not paid at that time the lands and premises may be put up and re-sold immediately. The balance to be paid within ten (10) days upon the delivery of a bargain and sale deed without covenants.
2. The said lands and premises are sold subject to all municipal, state and Federal ordinances, statutes and regulations affecting the use of the said lands and premises, and subject to the covenants, conditions and restrictions contained in prior deeds affecting said lands and premises.
3. No bids will be accepted at the sale unless the bidder has previously deposited with the Township Treasurer cash or a certified check in an amount of not less than $40,000 no later than three (3) days prior to the date of the sale.
4. All bidders shall submit plans of the type of buildings proposed to be erected at least three (3) days prior to the date of the sale, in order that they may be examined and approved by the Building Inspector, or other official designated by the Township Committee.
5. The successful bidder shall be required to erect dwellings, construct or reconstruct all roads adjoining said lots, provide curbs, water, sanitary sewers, and whatever other service or requirement within a reasonable time after taking title. All bidders shall, at least three (3) days prior to the date of sale, submit evidence of financial responsibility to complete the erection of dwellings, construction and reconstruction of roads, curbs, water, sanitary sewers, and ability to provide for other required services.
6. The successful bidder shall at the time of delivery of the deed pay, as an additional purchase price, a sum equal to the amount of tax based on the last assessed valuation from the first of the month after the date of the sale until the end of the current year, and also all legal conveyancing fees.
7. Any successful bidder failing to complete the sale shall forfeit to the Township of Neptune any and all moneys deposited with the bid.
8. The sale of the hereinbefore described lands and premises is subject to confirmation by the Township Committee, which may reject any or all bids and may hold any bid for a period of fifteen (15) days before acting thereon."
Obviously the sale was intended to be a public one conducted on the basis of competitive bidding. An indispensable element of such a sale ...