Friday, June 25, 2010

Breaking: City proposes temporary garage solution

Office of the Mayor announces: 


Mayor Dawn Zimmer will ask the City Council to vote on a proposal for the future of the City’s public works municipal garage at the upcoming Council meeting on July 14th.

“What we are proposing will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and have no impact on any residential areas,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “No traditional site-based solution comes close to the cost savings of this innovative approach.”

The City currently requires indoor space for vehicle maintenance and outdoor space for vehicle storage. There is the possibility that the City could end up with two garage locations if the City entered into a lease for a temporary new location and retained the existing municipal garage if the developer is unable to close on the sale. Additionally, the cost to retrofit a leased location which we may only need for a few months would cost at least $100,000, not including the cost of monthly rental.

To avoid this scenario, the Administration is proposing a creative solution which addresses the City’s vehicle maintenance and storage needs while saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Administration has decided to outsource all maintenance of its vehicles for 60 days until the status of the existing municipal garage site is clear on the planned closing date, August 13, 2010. By outsourcing the maintenance, the City eliminates the short term need for indoor garage space.

To address the City’s needs for outdoor vehicle storage space, the Administration will introduce a Resolution authorizing the closure of Clinton Street between 15th Street and 16th Street. Appropriate easements will be provided for adjacent property owners. The impact on traffic will be minimal since there are already plans for the closure of Clinton Street beneath the 14th Street Viaduct as part of HudsonCounty's plan for that structure's rehabilitation later this year.

“We’re looking to continually save taxpayers money through out-of-the-box approaches to problem-solving,” added Business Administrator Arch Liston.

These solutions will not impact any residential areas of the community, preclude the possibility of ending up with two garages, and provide significant cost savings to taxpayers.

Get the latest Hoboken news:

Breaking: Gristy Chewables on the Municipal Garage

There's continued movement now on the Municipal Garage front with substantial progress making its way forward.  Although just earlier MSV indicated the Jersey City location had been dropped midweek, things are now looking better on another front.

That option not clear yet is apparently moving ahead and alleviates concern that Jersey City was a lost and best cause for a temporary garage location.  There is a plan and it is moving ahead.

The progress is sufficient enough that next week's special City Council meeting has been cancelled!

This gristy chewable is breaaakkkking.

Talking Ed Note:  On another front Councilman Mike Lenz's kickoff last night hosted by the Stuiver's was a big success with 75 people reportedly attending.

The Hoboken Journal has all the coverage including the councilman's speech.  It's absolutely a must see for the political junkie.

On another front, nothing but gratitude to Kurt the Jolly Green Giant and the Hoboken community.  Thank you kindly for the support!


Grist for the Mill: Municipal Garage - the Realtor Edition

Tuesday night the variables for the Municipal Garage hit the table at the City Council and it's proving to be a challenge even if the issues are now being discussed in a reasonable framework among its members.  Even so, the clock is ticking and the small group who showed up from the public expressed a clear difference with the pace of the process moving forward with those who have a multitude of interests: financial, political, or both.

Dino Bogdanos a speaker at recent City Council meetings on the Municipal Garage, self cast in the role of third ward resident defender, again appeared before the City Council speaking on the issue.  But his appearance doesn't appear to be solely based on concern for residents.
Dino Bogdanos right at Tuesday night's special meeting with an unidentified gentleman to his right.  
He made no reference to any personal role in the potential Jersey City site he advocated.  

Mr. Bogdanos, an owner in the real estate company Corporate Realty on Washington Street told the City Council the option to keep the Municipal Garage in its current location where he estimated  the cost to the city at $96,000 a month is too high a price.  He also liked the Jersey City location stating it wasn't residential, naming several other positive factors with that selection.  His remarks all led to one conclusion - the Jersey City location would be an excellent solution.  

In a phone interview the next day, he told MSV the Jersey City site is viable although the concerns about problems with the site due to any potential opposition by Jersey City Mayor Healy were beyond him.  

When asked about the owner of the Jersey City Marin Blvd. location he stated he didn't know the person.  Concerning any brokerage fee for the Jersey City site, Mr. Bogdanos said there isn't any.  He then recommended government sources as the best place to get additional answers.  That was the sum of the interview.

Later Wednesday afternoon, a zoning official in Jersey City with knowledge of the requirements for the area said Hoboken would not even be able to set up a parking garage at the site without approval from the Jersey City Planning Board.  An interim permit might be a recourse he added, but it would take some time to obtain the approval for what he described as a redevelopment area. 

Late Thursday afternoon, Dino Bogdanos returned two messages on successive days that stated there were follow up questions based on the earlier conversation.  When he heard there were conversations with Hoboken and Jersey City officials and there was problems with the answers in the first conversation, he immediately interjected saying he knew the owner of the Jersey City site and anything suggesting otherwise was in error.  

Told nothing had been written to that point and asked about any brokerage fee involving himself led to lots of one sided commentary where Mr. Bogdanos contradicted himself several times.  He said there should be no issue if he collects a fee.  Then he challenged MSV to find where he collects a fee in "the agreement."  

Trying to merely restate the two questions and obtain a response, Mr. Bogdanos continually interrupted with long monologues but finally he was asked a third.  What agreement are you referring to and are you collecting a fee if the Jersey City location is chosen as the Municipal Garage location?  He wouldn't answer the question and said he could "see where this is going" and MSV "should be careful about writing mistakes."  

Reminding Mr. Bogdanos nothing had been written to this point, he again insisted the earlier conversation where he stated he did not know the owner was a mistake and "you misheard."  He then said he knows lots of owners.  He refused to give a straight answer whether he was getting a fee for the Jersey City location adding he was a good neighbor and MSV should be a good neighbor too.  We're not sure what that means exactly as he spoke 90% of the time and was clearly unhappy. 

Here's the video of his appearance Tuesday night at the 53:00 mark. Hit the small play button first on the lower left and then click along the scroll on the bottom to move ahead to the 53:00 minute mark.

At an earlier City Council meeting, Dino Bogdanos described himself as a simple man of simple truths.  What do you think is the color of the simple truth unmentioned in front of the City Council here?

Talking Ed Note: On Wednesday a source who may have knowledge on the temporary municipal garage process stated Jersey City was no longer being pursued as an option.

For the record, MSV has no issue with anyone advancing business interests.  At the same time, the public has a right to know when business interests being advanced in public policy intersect.

Questions regarding the Jersey City site selection led to the discovery of who brought it to the city's attention: Dino Bogdanos.

Hoboken's Eco Cruise sets sail

Hoboken is coming together showing some spirit in doing what's right for Hoboken's kids.  This sold out event later today will be hosting 28 children along with six adults aiding the effort for a nice outing today.