Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rebuild by Design Kickoff Meeting June 23rd at Stevens Babbio Center

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Wednesday June 3, 2015

City of Hoboken

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Community: Community Invited to Kickoff Meeting for Rebuild by Design Project - June 23, Babbio Center, Stevens campus

Dear Horsey & MSV Readers,

All members of the community are invited to attend a public kickoff meeting for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River project (Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge) which will be held on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Babbio Center on the Stevens campus.

In attendance at the meeting will be representatives from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which is managing the project, the project consultant, and officials from Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City. Following brief presentations with project updates, members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions of representatives from the DEP, project consultant, and government officials.

“This has been an incredibly difficult week of flooding for many of our residents and businesses – perhaps the worst we’ve had since Sandy,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I look forward to providing an update on the flood pump that will protect Northwest Hoboken, several parks that will double as flood resiliency projects, and other initiatives that complement the work the DEP will be leading as part of the Rebuild by Design strategy. We have to keep working together as a community to solve this problem, so I thank Carter Craft and Helen Manogue for their contributions in putting together a diverse group of more than 30 residents to serve on the Hoboken Citizens Advisory Group.”

The Hoboken Citizens Advisory Group is being co-chaired by residents Carter Craft, LaTrenda Ross, and Council President Ravinder Bhalla. The group will help to gather input from the community and provide feedback on the project, along with the entire community.

The Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge project will protect Hoboken, Weehawken, and northern Jersey City from flooding. The comprehensive strategy uses both hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense (resist), recommends policies to enable the urban fabric to slow down water (delay), and includes a green circuit to trap water (store) and water pumps to support drainage (discharge). The DEP will receive the $230 million in funding from HUD and is the lead State agency to plan, design and construct the project. The award is expected to fund the implementation of the “Resist” element of the strategy. Details of the proposal can be found at www.rebuildbydesign.org/project/oma-final-proposal.

The City of Hoboken is independently planning and funding other resiliency initiatives that complement the “Delay,” “Store,” and “Discharge” elements of the Rebuild by Design strategy including:

· Providing $11.7 million to fund North Hudson Sewerage Authority’s construction and operation of Hoboken’s second wet weather pump station with a pumping capacity of 40 million gallons per day to alleviate flooding in Northwest Hoboken.
· Building a Southwest Park designed to hold up to 250,000 gallons of stormwater
· Negotiating through the redevelopment process to acquire a property at 7th Street and Jackson Street for park space with up to 500,000 gallons of stormwater detention.
· Negotiating with BASF to acquire a 6 acre property for open space with at least 1 million gallons of stormwater detention capacity.
· Constructing the City Hall sustainable stormwater demonstration project, which will include rain gardens and cisterns to retain all of the stormwater for a 6 hour long 100 year storm.
· Adopting legislation to encourage and facilitate the installation of green roofs.

Part of Phase One of the Hudson River project is a Feasibility Study and an Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS). At a public meeting on May 13, the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors approved the use of an existing New Jersey Transit contract with Dewberry Engineering, Inc. for the State to have Dewberry perform that work.

The existing New Jersey Transit Environmental Consulting Services Task Order Contract has been available for use on Superstorm Sandy Recovery projects. Approval by New Jersey Transit to use this contract for the Feasibility Study and EIS enabled the procurement process to be accelerated, allowing feasibility work to begin this summer.

A more extensive May, 2015 project update from the DEP can be found at http://www.nj.gov/dep/floodhazard/docs/rbd-hudson-update-201505.pdf