Monday, July 22, 2013

MAYOR ZIMMER CONTINUES ADVOCACY FOR HOBOKEN STORM PROTECTION

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Monday July 22, 2013

City of Hoboken

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Community: Mayor Zimmer Continues Advocacy for Hoboken in Response to Governor Christie's Announcement of Home Elevation Program

Today, Governor Chris Christie announced $100 million in funds to help New Jersey residents along the shore to elevate their homes. Mayor Zimmer thanked Governor Christie for his advocacy for the State of New Jersey and continued her strong advocacy for Federal, State, and County support for her comprehensive approach to protect Hoboken.

“While this program will be enormously helpful for those with single family homes, in urban areas like Hoboken, it is simply not possible to raise up our buildings, and we need to protect our communities comprehensively rather than creating islands of protection," explained Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We have developed those plans and are pursuing all options including FEMA grants, loans from the state, and public-private partnerships to implement these initiatives. I will continue to advocate at all levels for an approach that acknowledges the unique challenges of urban areas.”

The City is pursuing a series of initiatives to comprehensively protect Hoboken from the unpredictable and severe impacts of climate change, stronger storms, and rising seas:

Flood pumps
The City has strongly supported and advocated for North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s application for hazard mitigation grant funding from FEMA to construct three additional designed and shovel-ready flood pumps. In addition, in an effort to ensure that the pumps are funded and built, the City also applied for a low-interest loan to build the first of these three pumps, to be located at 11th Street. Finally, as part of a revised Redevelopment Plan for Hoboken Rail Yards that will be introduced this fall, the City plans to include requirements for the developer to pay for the second of the three pumps, which would be located at 5th Street. Hoboken’s first flood pump was completed in early 2012.

Shoreline Protection
To keep high tides and storm surges from breaching Hoboken’s waterfront in the future, the City applied for FEMA funding for the installation of a series of flood barriers along the north and south of the city. As part of this concept, the revised Redevelopment Plan for the Hoboken Rail Yards would incorporate a flood barrier along the southern edge of the development to protect from storm surges from the south.

Energy Resiliency
Hoboken is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, the N.J. Board of Public Utilities and PSE&G to design a smart grid to protect Hoboken’s critical infrastructure from power outages. Hoboken will be the first non-military application of this technology designed for an entire community. The City also strongly supports PSE&G’s plans to eliminate one of its electrical substations in Hoboken, combine it with one of the others, and elevate the two remaining substations to protect them from future flooding. The proposal is awaiting regulatory approval.

Green Infrastructure
Hoboken was recently chosen in a national competition by the Rockefeller Foundation-funded Re.Invest Initiative to design and fund sustainable and resilient green infrastructure to reduce the effects of climate change and extreme storm events by reducing the amount of rain water that enters the sewer system. The City is moving forward to acquire more open space using the Open Space Trust Fund and a bond passed by the City Council. Various green infrastructure solutions are being explored through this grant and will be incorporated into the park designs.

Hoboken’s full resiliency plan is available online at www.hobokennj.org/resiliency