COMMUNITY UPDATE FROM MAYOR ZIMMER
This is a big week for Hoboken. Here's a snapshot on the issues.
Flood Pump: The pre-application for a second flood pump has been submitted to the NJ Environmental Infrastructure Trust fund.
1600 Park: The City received a $200,000 grant from the US Soccer Foundation for the field to be turfed, which is fortunate because it will cost more than anticipated to install the lights due to the soft soil conditions revealed by recent boring tests.
The process of installing the lights is extremely delicate because the drilling will take place within 2 feet of a water main and 4 feet of a gas line. We are also working with PSEG to have the electricity rerouted so a large crane can install the pipes.
Even though we received the grant, the City Council must approved a change order and an emergency appropriation so we can access the grant. Since this ultimately will not cost Hoboken taxpayers any additional money, I am confident the Council will vote on Wednesday to get this important project done. Here's a memo on all the change orders for this project: www.hobokennj.org/docs/mayor/Memo-Zimmer-Council-6-3-13.pdf.
Southwest Park: This Wednesday, the Council will be asked to approve a higher offer for Block 12, the one-acre anchor property for a larger Southwest Park. As part of the ongoing litigation process, the City felt it was necessary to update the 2011 appraisal on which the previous offer was based. The increased offer reflects the fair market value based on the new up-to-date appraisal.
County budget hearing in Hoboken: The proposed County budget includes a significant increase to Hoboken's county tax. The increase is due both to the State-mandated formula used to allocate each municipality's share of the total tax burden and also to a five percent increase in the overall County tax levy.
While Hoboken's municipal tax levy has been reduced by 10 percent over the past 4 years, the County levy has increased by almost 20 percent during the same period. This year's budget includes a 5 percent increase.
Hoboken residents should take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the County budget and respectfully express their opinions on this issue. This meeting is happening thanks to a joint request by Weehawken Mayor Turner, Secaucus Mayor Gonnelli and me. Thank you to Councilman Mello for suggesting the idea, and thank you to the County and the Freeholders for giving Hoboken residents this opportunity. The hearings start at 6:00pm on Thursday, June 6 in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Afterwards, members of the public will each have 5 minutes to speak.
Traffic signal at Jackson & Newark: The County plans to complete its installation of the traffic light at Jackson Street and Newark Street by the end of June. This is expected to improve circulation into Hoboken by providing a green left turn phase for cars turning onto Jackson Street. The previous changes made to lower Jackson Street have reduced accidents by nearly half compared to before on-street parking was added. Active evaluation of this intersection and area will continue after the light is installed to determine if additional changes need to be made.
Post-Sandy Grant workshop for business by the EDA: Local businesses are eligible for grants up to $50,000. The State Economic Development Authority will be in Hoboken to explain the process and answer all questions. All businesses impacted by Sandy are encouraged to attend the workshop on June 11 at 5:00pm in the basement floor conference room in City Hall. For questions, call 1-855-SANDY-BZ.
CDBG Grants Available for Homeowners: Online FAQ’s are available to answer questions for grant programs (up to $150,000) available to homeowners: http://renewjerseystronger.org/rrem/frequently-asked-questions-for-rrem/ and http://renewjerseystronger.org/resettlement/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-resettlement-program/. For questions, call 1-855-726-3946. We are working on setting up a similar workshop for residents.